REGULAR AGENDA REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN REGIONAL AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING

REGULAR AGENDA REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN REGIONAL AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING
REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN
REGIONAL AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING
Thursday, March 19, 2015
6:00 pm
REGULAR AGENDA
A.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
1. Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee Meeting – March 19, 2015
(Opportunity for Introduction of Late Items)
(Opportunity for Introduction of Late Items – In Camera Agenda)
RECOMMENDATION 1
That the agenda of the March 19, 2015 regular meeting of the Regional Agricultural
Advisory Committee be approved as presented.
B.
ADOPTION OF MINUTES
1. Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee Meeting – January 22, 2015
RECOMMENDATION 2
Page 1
That the minutes of the January 22, 2015 meeting of the Regional Agricultural
Advisory Committee be adopted as circulated.
C.
DELEGATIONS
D.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS
E.
NEW BUSINESS
1. Regional Agricultural Area Plan Background Report & Market Opportunities
Analysis
- Staff report dated March 9, 2015
RECOMMENDATION 3
Page 4
That the Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee review the Regional Agricultural
Area Plan Background Report and Market Opportunities Analysis and provide
comment.
Regional Agricultural Advisory
Committee Agenda – Regular
-2-
March 19, 2015
2. Agricultural Land Commission Application
J. & J. deDood [File No. 15-0033-F-ALR]
- Application dated December 10, 2014
FOR REVIEW AND COMMENT
Page 135
3. Provincial Agricultural Land Commission Applications 2012-2015
RECOMMENDATION 4
Page 154
That the listing of Provincial Agricultural Land Commission Applications 2012-2015
be received for information.
F.
BUSINESS ARISING FROM DELEGATIONS
G.
REPORTS
H.
IN CAMERA
I.
REPORT FROM IN CAMERA
J.
ADJOURNMENT
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item B.1
REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN
MINUTES of a REGULAR meeting of the REGIONAL AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY
COMMITTEE of the REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN held in the Boardroom at
the Regional District Office on Thursday, January 22, 2015
Members: Director B. Fleming
Director M. Macnabb
Director S. Fowler
Councillor P. McClean
Director J. Brown
Alt. Director S. Anderson
M. Asif
I. Eggen
D. Lapierre
M. Randell
P. Wendt
Electoral Area “B”
Electoral Area “C”
City of Armstrong
District of Coldstream
Township of Spallumcheen
City of Vernon
Agricultural Producer
Agricultural Producer
Agricultural Producer
Agricultural Producer
Agricultural Producer
Staff:
R. Smailes
J. deGroot
General Manager, Planning and Building
Planning Assistant
Also
Present:
B. Recksiedler
1 member of the Public
Ministry of Agriculture
CALL MEETING TO ORDER
The General Manager, Planning and Building called the meeting to order at 6:06 p.m.
ELECTION OF REGIONAL AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE CHAIR
The General Manager, Planning and Building called three times for nominations for the office of
Chair of the Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee.
Director Macnabb nominated Dennis Lapierre.
Alt. Director Anderson nominated Director Macnabb. Director Macnabb declined.
There being no further nominations, Dennis Lapierre was declared elected, by acclamation, as
Chair of the Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee.
ELECTION OF REGIONAL AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE VICE CHAIR
The General Manager, Planning and Building called three times for nominations for the office of
Vice Chair of the Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee.
Director Fowler nominated Director Macnabb.
There being no further nominations, Director Macnabb was declared elected, by acclamation, as
Vice Chair of the Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee.
Page 1 of 157
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item B.1
Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee
Minutes – Regular
-2-
January 22, 2015
Dennis Lapierre assumed the Chair.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee Meeting – January 22, 2015
Moved and seconded by Mike Randell and Director Macnabb
That the agenda of the January 22, 2015 regular meeting of the Regional Agricultural Advisory
Committee be approved as presented.
CARRIED
ADOPTION OF MINUTES
Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee Meeting – October 16, 2014
Moved and seconded by Directors Fowler and Macnabb
That the minutes of the October 16, 2014 meeting of the Regional Agricultural Advisory
Committee be adopted as circulated.
CARRIED
NEW BUSINESS
Agricultural Advisory Committee Workshop
Moved and seconded by Director Macnabb and Councillor Peter McClean
That Dennis Lapierre and Mike Randell be selected to attend the Ministry of Agriculture’s
February 18, 2015 Agricultural Advisory Committee Workshop to represent the interests of the
Regional District of North Okanagan; and further,
That the agricultural priorities identified through the Agricultural Area Planning Process be
brought forward for discussion at the Ministry of Agriculture’s February 18, 2015 Agricultural
Advisory Committee Workshop.
CARRIED
Changes to the Agricultural Land Commission Act
Moved and seconded by Director Macnabb and Councillor Peter McClean
That the report dated December 18, 2014 from the Regional Growth Strategy Coordinator
regarding recent changes to the Agricultural Land Commission Act be received for information.
CARRIED
Moved and seconded by Director Macnabb and Councillor Peter McClean
That it be recommended to the Board of Directors, a request be made to the Minister of
Agriculture for provision of input from local government and the agricultural sector prior to
considering any Section 58(2) regulatory changes that may have Agricultural Land Reserve or
local government regulatory implications.
CARRIED
Page 2 of 157
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item B.1
Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee
Minutes – Regular
-3-
January 22, 2015
Agricultural Land Commission Application
R. & S. Meadahl c/o C. Ruechel [File No. 14-0457-D-ALR]
Discussion ensued regarding the following:
- The reasons for the application;
- Applicant’s proposed agricultural/farming activities;
- What the applicant proposes to do with the residences if approved or if not approved;
- The state of the land where the houses are located;
- Concerns regarding rental houses/properties and the negative impacts of rental
houses/properties on adjacent properties, farms and land owners; and,
- Why the applicant cannot locate a new house in the non-ALR portion of the property.
Comments:
- A formal life lease should be registered on the property title to protect the property owner
and person who resides in that residence; and,
- The one residence that pertains to the life lease should be permitted to remain, but the
other three residences should be decommissioned to permit the issuance of a Building
Permit for a new residence for the applicant.
Moved and seconded by Ian Eggen and Director Macnabb
That it be recommended to the Board of Directors that the issuance of a Building Permit for a
new residence on the property be permitted on the conditions that the property owner registers
a life lease on the property’s title for the life lease residence and the three non-life lease
residences be decommissioned.
Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee Membership
The General Manager, Planning and Building provided an update on the Directors who have
been appointed to the Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee.
The present members noted they wish to remain on the Regional Agricultural Advisory
Committee. The missing members will be contacted and the matter of membership will be
brought forward to the next meeting.
Agricultural Area Plan
The General Manager, Planning and Building provided a verbal update on the Agricultural Area
Plan.
ADJOURNMENT
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 7:24 p.m.
CERTIFIED CORRECT
Chair
General Manager, Planning and Building
Page 3 of 157
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item E.1
REGIONAL DISTRICT
of
NORTH OKANAGAN
REPORT
File No.: 3045.12.03.04
TO:
Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee
FROM:
Planning Department
DATE:
March 9, 2015
Regional Agricultural Area Plan Background Report & Market
Opportunities Analysis
SUBJECT:
RECOMMENDATION:
That the Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee review the Regional Agricultural Area Plan
Background Report and Market Opportunities Analysis and provide comment.
BACKGROUND:
Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) Bylaw No. 2500, 2011 was adopted by the Board of Directors on
September 21, 2011 after receiving unanimous support from member municipal councils, the Electoral
Area Advisory Committee and adjacent regional districts. The Board of Directors endorsed the five
RGS strategic priorities on April 18, 2012, which included supporting agriculture and focusing on
collaborative economic development opportunities. The Board of Directors selected the development
of a Regional Agricultural Area Plan as the key RGS implementation project for 2013 with a focus on
economic development.
The Regional Agriculture Area Plan Terms of Reference was adopted by the Board of Directors on
August 21, 2013 and Upland Consulting was selected as the consulting team to develop the Regional
Agricultural Area Plan.
This Regional Agricultural Area Plan project has been funded in part by the Investment Agriculture
Foundation of BC through programs it delivers on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the
BC Ministry of Agriculture.
DISCUSSION:
The Regional Agricultural Area Plan was initiated in early 2013 as a priority RGS implementation
project, with generous funding support from the Investment Agriculture Foundation. The planning
process is being led by the Regional District and the Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee
(RAAC) which is also acting as the Agricultural Area Plan Steering Committee. The committee is
comprised of elected officials and members of the farming community and provides technical advice
and input into the planning process and acts as liaison with the regional agricultural community.
Upland Consulting has been retained to undertake the development of the Plan.
The Regional Agricultural Area Plan will include:
• A vision for agriculture for the next 20 years;
• A summary of current issues and opportunities relating to agriculture;
• An overview of agricultural stakeholder and public engagement;
• Creative actions and approaches to address issues and opportunities;
Page 4 of 157
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item E.1
Regional Agriculture Area Plan Background Report
Report to Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee – March 9, 2015
•
•
Page 2
Opportunities and policies that will support and enhance the economic sustainability and
resilience of the agricultural industry; and,
An implementation and funding strategy.
The Background report, which explores the current agricultural situation within the North Okanagan, is
a key deliverable and is one of the foundational documents that will inform the development of the
Regional Agricultural Area Plan. The Background Report, attached to this report, provides an
overview of the regional agricultural context, results of the agricultural land use inventory (ALUI),
Census of Agriculture analysis, legislative and regulatory environment, community consultation and
agricultural issue identification.
The Market Opportunities Analysis provides an overview of key issues, challenges and opportunities
for the regional agricultural sector. The Analysis includes a summary of public and stakeholder
engagement results conducted through the planning process. The Analysis, as a foundational
document, will inform the recommended Regional Agricultural Area Plan vision, goals, objectives,
strategies, actions and pilot projects.
It is recommended that the Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee review the Background Report
and Market Opportunities Analysis and provide comments.
Committee input regarding the
foundational documents of this planning process will assist with the development of the initial draft of
the Regional Agricultural Area Plan.
SUMMARY OF PROJECT PROGRESS:
The following actions have been accomplished since project initiation (December 2013):
1. Regular meetings of Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee;
2. Completion of the Agricultural Land Use Inventory;
3. Regional food system workshop which provided an opportunity for consultation early in the
planning process to identify themes and areas of focus;
4. Public open houses, at farmers’ markets;
5. Two focus group sessions with key agricultural producer stakeholders;
6. Surveys of the farming and non-farming communities;
7. General context review and development of the Background Report;
8. Development of the Market Opportunities Analysis;
9. Identification of potential strategies, policies, actions and pilot projects; and
10. Beginning to draft the Regional Agricultural Area Plan.
Phase I of the project concluded in December 2014, the focus of which was to explore agricultural
issues and opportunities, Phase II of the planning process has since been initiated. The development
of the Regional Agricultural Area Plan in January 2015 corresponds to the approved work plan. A
draft Agricultural Area Plan is under development and will be presented to the Regional Agricultural
Advisory Committee at a future meeting for review and comment.
BACKGROUND REPORT SUMMARY:
The Background Report, in conjunction with the Market Opportunity Analysis, will provide the context
for the development of objectives, strategies, actions and potential pilot projects that may be
undertaken or supported by the Regional District, member municipalities, agricultural producer
associations or other stakeholders, to enhance, promote and sustain a resilient, prosperous and
diverse agricultural sector in the region. The Report provides an overview of the agricultural context
of the region and presents the results of the ALUI and Census of Agriculture analysis, as well as
preliminary issue identification.
Page 5 of 157
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item E.1
Regional Agriculture Area Plan Background Report
Report to Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee – March 9, 2015
Page 3
There is strong community support for agriculture in the North Okanagan, as indicated by
approximately 60% of community survey respondents who claimed that they would be willing to pay a
premium for locally sourced foods in order to support local farmers. In addition to access to fresh,
local food, the majority of all survey respondents associated farming with green space, a rural lifestyle
and scenic values.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, the total farmland area is 84,339 ha, which increased from
76,624 ha in 2006. A review of comparable jurisdictions suggests that the amount of land removed
from the ALR since it was designated in 1974 is relatively low when compared to other regions in
areas of high population growth.
The agricultural sector contributes 1,805 jobs in the RDNO (4.6%), and the number of farm operators
rose from 1,715 in 2001 to 1,770 in 2011, indicating that the agricultural sector is fairly stable in the
region and may be attracting new entrants. It is important to note though, that the number of
operators over the age of 55 increased from 900 in 2001 to 1,020 in 2011, while the number of
operators under the age of 35 decreased from 100 to 70 in that same time period.
The complete Background Report is attached to this report.
MARKET OPPORTUNITIES ANALYSIS SUMMARY:
This Market Opportunities Analysis assists in the identification of opportunities for the agricultural
sector in the North Okanagan to become more economically resilient and sustainable in the long term.
The Analysis was developed using literature reviews and research; farmer and public surveys;
one‐on-one interviews with local key stakeholders; feedback from a Regional Food System
Workshop; Open Houses; and two Agricultural Stakeholder Focus Group sessions. The Market
Opportunities Analysis is meant to be used in conjunction with the Background Report, in order to
create the draft Regional Agricultural Area Plan.
A number of challenges and key issues have been identified through the Regional Food System
Workshop, Surveys, Open Houses and Focus Group sessions. Including, in no particular order:
• Biophysical considerations (including climate, soils, water, invasive species);
• Marketing and branding;
• Costs of doing business and the need for (re)investment;
• Transportation and distribution;
• Access to skilled and affordable labour;
• Expansion of niche and value‐added products;
• The regional tourism market;
• Regulatory challenges; and
• Innovation, research, and education.
The Market Opportunities Analysis is a document intended to facilitate discussion that will assist in
developing options to support agriculture. The next step in developing a Regional Agricultural Area
Plan involves consultation with the Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee, Regional District staff,
agricultural stakeholders and the pubic to determine which options are the most feasible to pursue
and assist in addressing the diverse agricultural issues in the North Okanagan.
The Market Opportunity Analysis is attached to this report for review and comment.
NEXT STEPS:
The Regional Agricultural Area Plan is proceeding on schedule and on budget. The project is
currently in Phase II, which focuses on the development of the policies, actions and pilot projects to
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Regional Agriculture Area Plan Background Report
Report to Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee - March 9, 2015
Page4
be included within the Plan. It is anticipated that the final draft of the Regional Agricultural Area Plan
will be complete by June 2015. The following next steps will assist in the completion of the Plan:
MARCH 2015:
•
RAAC Review- The Committee will review the Background Report and Market Opportunities
Analysis and provide comment.
APRIL 2015:
•
•
Regional Agricultural Area Plan (Preliminary Draft) - The first draft of the Plan will be
presented by Upland Consulting to the Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee for
consideration and comment.
Regional District Staff Review - The draft Plan will be referred to Regional District
departments for review and comment as a component of the Plan review process.
MAY 2015:
•
Public & Agricultural Stakeholder Consultation - The final series of public and agricultural
stakeholder events will be held to solicit Regional Agricultural Area Plan input.
JUNE 2015:
•
Fin._al Regional Agricultural Area Plan - Based upon the Regional Agricultural Advisory
Committee input, Regional District staff comments and the results of public and stakeholder
engagement, the final draft of the Regional Agricultural Area Plan will be completed.
SUMMARY:
Phase I of the Regional Agricultural Area Plan was initiated in December 2013 and concluded in
December 2014 with the completion of two key deliverables; the Background Report and the Market
Opportunity Analysis. These two documents will inform the development of Plan goals, objectives,
strategies, actions and pilot projects. It is recommended that the Regional Agricultural Advisory
Committee review these reports and provide comment that will assist in the development of the initial
draft of the Regional Agricultural Area Plan.
Submitted by:
Anthop.'}VKTttel, MCIP, R.
RegiPnal Growth Strateg
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Regional District of North Okanagan
Agricultural Plan Background Report
January 9, 2015
1
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Table of Contents
List of Tables .................................................................................................................................................. i
Acknowledgements...................................................................................................................................... iii
Acronyms ..................................................................................................................................................... iv
Executive Summary....................................................................................................................................... v
Introduction .................................................................................................................................................. 1
Intent of Agricultural Area Plans ............................................................................................................... 1
A Definition of Agriculture ........................................................................................................................ 2
The Regional Agricultural Area Plan Summary and Process ..................................................................... 2
Regional Context ........................................................................................................................................... 4
Overview of Communities ........................................................................................................................ 5
Okanagan Indian Band .......................................................................................................................... 7
Splatsin Nation ...................................................................................................................................... 8
Electoral Area “B” (Rural Vernon) ......................................................................................................... 5
Electoral Area “C” (Rural Vernon) ......................................................................................................... 5
Electoral Area “D” (Rural Lumby).......................................................................................................... 5
Electoral Area “E” (Cherryville) ............................................................................................................. 5
Electoral Area “F” (Rural Enderby)........................................................................................................ 6
City of Vernon ....................................................................................................................................... 6
District of Coldstream ........................................................................................................................... 6
Village of Lumby .................................................................................................................................... 6
City of Armstrong .................................................................................................................................. 7
Township of Spallumcheen ................................................................................................................... 7
City of Enderby ...................................................................................................................................... 7
History ........................................................................................................................................................... 9
Policy and Regulatory Context .................................................................................................................... 13
Federal .................................................................................................................................................... 13
Provincial................................................................................................................................................. 14
2
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Local and Regional .................................................................................................................................. 17
Select Local Agricultural Planning Initiatives .......................................................................................... 20
Environmental Context ............................................................................................................................... 23
Water Resources ..................................................................................................................................... 23
Soils and Geography ............................................................................................................................... 29
Agricultural Capability ............................................................................................................................. 29
Weather and Climatic Capability for Agriculture .................................................................................... 30
Invasive Species ...................................................................................................................................... 32
Climate Change ....................................................................................................................................... 33
Agricultural Profile ...................................................................................................................................... 35
Amount of Farmland and Farm Numbers ............................................................................................... 36
Crop Production ...................................................................................................................................... 38
Livestock Production ............................................................................................................................... 41
Farm Practices ......................................................................................................................................... 43
Farm Valuation ........................................................................................................................................ 43
Operator Profile ...................................................................................................................................... 45
Agricultural Infrastructure ...................................................................................................................... 47
Transportation .................................................................................................................................... 47
Agricultural Input and Service Suppliers ............................................................................................. 47
Manufacturing and Processing ........................................................................................................... 47
Local Marketing and Distribution ....................................................................................................... 48
Conclusion and Next Steps.......................................................................................................................... 51
References and Bibliography ...................................................................................................................... 52
Appendices..................................................................................................................................................... i
Appendix I: Federal and Provincial Policies and Regulations Pertaining to Agriculture ................................ i
Appendix II. RDNO Regional Growth Strategy Goals ................................................................................ xxiii
Appendix III. Agricultural Capability Maps ................................................. Error! Bookmark not defined.xiii
Appendix IV Soil Maps ............................................................................................................................. xxvii
3
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List of Tables
Table 1. Weather characteristics in the RDNO (Environment Canada, 2014). ........................................... 30
Table 2. Growing Degree Days (GDDs) for the Vernon-Coldstream Ranch and Armstrong areas
(Environment Canada, 2014). ..................................................................................................................... 31
Table 3. Potential agricultural impacts of climate change.......................................................................... 33
Table 4. Climate Projections for the RDNO in the 2020s, 2050s, and 2080s (PCICS, 2014). ...................... 34
Table 5. Statistics Canada delineation of RDNO. ........................................................................................ 36
Table 6. Distribution of ALR (Food System Plan, 2007) .............................................................................. 36
Table 7. Total Number of Farms (Statistics Canada) ................................................................................... 37
Table 8. Land Tenure Agreements in Hectares (Statistics Canada, 2011) .................................................. 37
Table 9. Land Cover in the ALR in RDNO (ALUI, 2014) ................................................................................ 37
Table 10. Crop Production Over Time (Statistics Canada) .......................................................................... 38
Table 11. Field Crop Production from 1996 to 2011 in Hectares (Statistics Canada) ................................. 38
Table 12. Fruit Production From 2001-2011 in Hectares (Statistics Canada) ............................................. 39
Table 13. Vegetable Production from 2001-2011 in Hectares (Statistics Canada) ..................................... 39
Table 14. ALUI results for crop types in farms surveyed (2014). ................................................................ 40
Table 15. Livestock Production from 1996-2011 (Statistics Canada) ......................................................... 41
Table 16. Livestock operations in the RDNO based on the ALUI (2014). .................................................... 42
Table 17. Farm Practices in Hectares of Production (Statistics Canada) .................................................... 43
Table 18. Farm Profitability from 2001-2011 (Statistics Canada) ............................................................... 43
Table 19. Revenue per Hectare from 1996-2011 (Statistics Canada) ......................................................... 44
Table 20. Gross Farm Receipts (Statistics Canada, 2011) ........................................................................... 44
Table 21. Number of farms and farm value from 2001-2011 (Statistics Canada) ..................................... 45
Table 22. Farm Operator Profile for the RDNO (Statistics Canada, 2011) .................................................. 45
i
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Table 23. Age of Farm Operators in RDNO from 2001-2011 (Statistics Canada) ....................................... 45
Table 24. Age of Farm Operators Across Canada (Statistics Canada, 2011) ............................................... 46
Table 25. Hours Spent per Week Working for the Farm (Number of Operators) (Statistics Canada) ........ 46
Table A1. Summary of OCP agricultural policies in the RDNO. .................................................................... x
TableA2. Summary of zoning bylaws and permitted agricultural uses in RDNO. .......................................xvi
ii
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Acknowledgements
The Regional District of North Okanagan Agricultural Area Plan is a strategy and policy framework document,
resulting from a regional planning initiative led by the Regional District of the North Okanagan (RDNO) in
collaboration with:
Ione Smith, P.Ag.
Upland Consulting
Andrea Lawseth, P.Ag.
AEL Agroecological Consulting
the “Consulting Team”
Janine de la Salle
Urban Food Strategies
Brooke Marshall, MCIP, RPP
The project was initiated and coordinated by the RDNO Planning Department, which included securing a 50/50
match funding agreement with the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC. Project coordination, key input into
the plan, and in-kind support were provided by the Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee. Local citizens,
stakeholders and participants of public meetings and focus groups also provided invaluable input and feedback, for
which the authors express much gratitude. Images used in this document are used with permission from Ione
Smith and Andrea Lawseth, unless otherwise indicated. Not for duplication or distribution. All rights reserved.
This project was funded in part by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC through programs it delivers on
behalf of Agriculture and Agri‐Food Canada and the BC Ministry of Agriculture.
Agriculture and Agri‐Food Canada, the BC Ministry of Agriculture and the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC,
are pleased to participate in the delivery of this project. We are committed to working with our partners to
address issues of importance to the agriculture and agri‐food industry in British Columbia. Opinions expressed in
this report are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Agriculture and Agri‐Food Canada, the BC Ministry
of Agriculture and the Investment Agriculture Foundation.
iii
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Acronyms
AAC
AAP
AAFC
AGRI
ALC
ALR
ALUI
ARDCorp
BCAA
BCAC
BCMoE
BSE
CFIA
CLI
CSA
DPA
FIRB
FPPA
GVW
IAF
IHA
LGA
LTSA
MIR
MOA
OBWB
OCP
RAAP
RAAC
REF
RDNO
SRW
SSFPA
UBCM
WDM
WWOOF
Agricultural Advisory Committee
Agricultural Area Plan
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
BC Ministry of Agriculture
Agricultural Land Commission
Agricultural Land Reserve
Agricultural Land Use Inventory
Agriculture Research and Development Corporation
BC Assessment Authority
BC Agriculture Council
BC Ministry of Environment
Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Canadian Land Inventory
Community Supported Agriculture
Development Permit Area
Farm Industry Review Board
Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act
Greater Vernon Water
Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC
Interior Health Authority
Local Government Act
Land Title and Survey Authority of BC
Meat Inspection Regulation
Market Opportunities Analysis
Okanagan Basin Water Basin
Official Community Plan
Regional Agricultural Area Plan
Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee
Real Estate Foundation
Regional District of North Okanagan
Shuswap River Watershed
Small Scale Food Processor Association
Union of BC Municipalities
Water Demand Model
Willing Workers on Organic Farms
iv
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Executive Summary
Agriculture in the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) has played an important role throughout
its history. Agriculture is significant to the economy, growth and identity of the region. This Regional
Agricultural Area Plan (RAAP) has been undertaken as a priority Regional Growth Strategy
implementation project through a collaborative process involving consultation with the agricultural
industry, the public, local and senior levels of government and other local stakeholders.
The Background Report is one of the initial deliverables in a comprehensive process that will result in a
RAAP for the RDNO. The Background Report, in conjunction with the Market Opportunity Analysis, will
provide the context for the development of strategies, actions and potential pilot projects that may be
undertaken or supported by the RDNO, member municipalities, agricultural producer associations or
other stakeholders, to enhance, promote and sustain a resilient, prosperous and diverse agricultural
sector in the region. This report provides an overview of the agricultural context of the region and
presents the results of the agricultural land use inventory (ALUI) and Census of Agriculture analysis, as
well as preliminary issue identification.
Agriculture has been an integral part of the North Okanagan way of life since initial settlement of the
region by cattle ranchers more than 150 years ago. Agricultural production has evolved over the last
century, with the region supported both very large scale and small scale farm operations producing a
diversity of agricultural products including tree fruit, dairy, beef cattle, vegetables, cereal and ancient
grains, poultry, eggs, hay and Christmas trees. Over the past 20 years, beef cattle ranching and forage
production have become much less prominent and dairy production has become one of the dominant
agricultural sectors in the region. The agricultural sector is dynamic and is economically reliant, to a
certain extent, on exporting raw and processed farm goods out of the region.
Approximately 9% of the total Regional District land base, primarily along valley bottoms, has an
Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) designation. Almost all ALR land is privately owned, while the remainder
is Crown land. While there are approximately 65,000 ha of ALR land in the RDNO, over 84,000 ha are
associated with farming activity, pointing to the fact that some operations are located outside the ALR.
Cultivated lands for field crops (over 21,000 ha) and livestock pasture (over 48,000 ha) represent the
major land uses.
While the total number of farms in the region has remained relatively static at approximately 1,100, the
number of cattle ranching operations declined by nearly half between 2001 and 2011, reflecting the
impact of the changes to the meat inspection regulation (MIR) since 2004, which has reduced the
number of opportunities for meat producers to process and sell their products locally. Poultry and egg
production has expanded and the dairy industry has dramatically intensified (less farms but more cows)
over the last ten years and is now a significant contributor to overall regional farm gate sale receipts.
According to Census of Agriculture data, total gross farm receipts have steadily been increasing over the
last 10 years, increasing from $84 million in 2001 to $126 million in 2011.
v
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Introduction
Agriculture defines the history and identity of the North Okanagan. Every community within the North
Okanagan includes Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) lands and has agricultural designations supporting
agriculture within their Official Community Plans (OCPs), as well as agricultural policies and zoning.
Agriculture provides local and regional economic benefits, as well as multiple opportunities for local
access to agricultural produce and products. In 2011, total gross farm receipts were estimated to be
worth over $126 million and farms provided jobs for 4.6% of the labour force in the North Okanagan.
The development of a Regional Agricultural Area Plan (RAAP) is an important opportunity for the
Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) and the agricultural sector to work toward a more resilient
and sustainable agricultural sector. Although the Regional District’s and member municipalities’
planning initiatives have been lessening urban development pressure on productive agricultural lands, it
has been recognized that long term planning for agriculture is essential for the long-term viability,
resilience and sustainability of the agricultural sector. The RAAP process has provided a unique
opportunity to develop recommended strategies, policies, actions and pilot projects that could support
agriculture in the future.
The RAAP was initiated in early 2013 as a priority Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) implementation
project, with generous support by the Investment Agriculture Foundation. The planning process is being
led by the Regional District and the Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee (RAAC), comprised of
elected officials and members of the farm community. RAAC has been providing technical advice and
input into the planning process, as well as acting as a liaison with the regional agricultural community.
Upland Consulting has been retained to undertake the development of the RAAP.
The Background Report presents the an overview of the regional context, results of the agricultural land
use inventory (ALUI), Census of Agriculture analysis, community consultation and issue identification.
Intent of Agricultural Area Plans
Agricultural Area Plans recognize agriculture as the highest and best use of agricultural land and focus
on developing strategies to support a viable agricultural industry at the local level 1. The intent of the
RAAP is to provide guidance to regional and local government to support local and regional planning
efforts. The RAAP for the North Okanagan region is being developed with the support and partnership of
the RDNO. The intent of this plan is to provide an overview of the current regional food system in the
North Okanagan, identify opportunities and make recommendations that would help support a healthy,
resilient and sustainable agricultural sector. The RAAP considers agriculture in its regional context and
anticipates future changes and challenges.
1
Smith, B. 1998. Planning for Agriculture. BC Ministry of Agriculture publication.
http://www.al.gov.bc.ca/resmgmt/publist/800Series/822420-1.pdf
1
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A Definition of Agriculture
It can be difficult for any community to agree upon the terms used to describe food production at a
regional level. Definitions outlined by dictionaries, Statistics Canada, and the BC Assessment Authority
(BCAA) help to provide a starting point for discussion.
“Agriculture” according to the Merriam Webster dictionary:
The science, art, or practice of cultivating the soil, producing crops, and raising livestock and in
varying degrees the preparation and marketing of the resulting products.
A “census farm” as described by Statistics Canada:
An agricultural operation that produces at least one of the following products intended for sale:
crops (hay, field crops, tree fruits or nuts, berries or grapes, vegetables, seed); livestock (cattle,
pigs, sheep, horses, game animals, other livestock); poultry (hens, chickens, turkeys, chicks, game
birds, other poultry); animal products (milk or cream, eggs, wool, furs, meat); or other
agricultural products (Christmas trees, greenhouse or nursery products, mushrooms, sod, honey,
maple syrup products).
In the Agricultural Census, an agricultural operation is defined as: “a farm, ranch or other operation that
produces agricultural products intended for sale.”
Farm status (or farm class) as determined by BCAA 2:
a) land used for a qualifying agricultural use;
b) land used for a purpose that contributes to a qualifying agricultural use;
c) land used for a farmer’s dwelling;
d) land in an agricultural land reserve (ALR) that is used for a retired farmer’s dwelling;
e) land used for the training and boarding of horses when operated in conjunction with horse
rearing; and
f) in some cases, vacant land associated with a farm.
A combination of the above-mentioned definitions, the project Terms of Reference, and discussions with
farmers and other stakeholders were used to ensure that a variety of levels and types of food
production were captured in the RAAP to accurately reflect food production occurring in North
Okanagan region.
The Regional Agricultural Area Plan Summary and Process
The RAAP (including this Background Report and the Market Opportunities Analysis) provides an
overview of the current regional food system in the North Okanagan, identifies opportunities for the
2
BC Assessment Authority fact sheet: classifying farmland.
http://www.bcassessment.ca/public/Fact%20Sheets/Classifying%20Farm%20Land.aspx
2
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RDNO, member municipalities, agricultural sector organizations, community groups and other
stakeholders to support agriculture and the regional food system, and makes recommendations that
would support a healthy, resilient and sustainable agricultural sector. This Background Report has been
developed as a context document to provide information about agricultural and environmental
resources as well as an overview of the regulatory environment within the RDNO. A Market
Opportunities Analysis (MOA) has been developed separately and documents key issues, challenges, and
opportunities for the regional agricultural sector. The MOA also includes a summary of engagement
efforts conducted through the RAAP process including community and farmer surveys. The final
document, the RAAP, synthesizes the Background Report and MOA into a vision statement, objectives, a
set of recommended actions as well as an outline of pilot projects, an implementation strategy and a
funding strategy.
The specific process objectives of the RAAP as set forth in the Terms of Reference are to:
• Undertake a comprehensive analysis of the agricultural industry and the resource base;
• Identify agricultural issues, trends, opportunities and challenges facing the agricultural industry;
• Develop strategies and policies to take advantage of opportunities and mitigate challenges;
• Develop policies to protect agricultural land;
• Develop policy and establish criteria to assist in the evaluation of ALR exclusion, non‐farm use
and subdivision applications; and,
• Provide recommendations that will promote public awareness of the importance of agriculture.
The following outcomes of the project are expected:
• A vision for agriculture for the next 20 years is developed;
• Current issues and opportunities relating to agriculture are identified and explored;
• Stakeholders are engaged to contribute to a comprehensive action plan that is reflective of their
input;
• Creative actions and approaches to address issues and opportunities are developed;
• Opportunities and policies that will support and enhance the economic sustainability and
resilience of the agricultural industry are identified; and
• An implementation strategy and funding strategy are created.
The RAAP process was initiated in December 2013 and includes the following actions:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
Regular meetings with RDNO staff and the RAAC
Regional food system workshop to identify collaboration opportunities
Public open houses to initiate the project
Focus group sessions with key stakeholders
Surveys of the farming and non-farming communities
General context review and development of the Background Report
Preliminary MOA
Drafting the RAAP
Reviewing the draft with RDNO staff and the RAAC (to be completed)
Public open house to present the draft AAP to the public (to be completed)
Finalizing the AAP and preparation for its adoption (to be completed)
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Regional Context
The RDNO is located in the northern portion of the Okanagan Valley, in central British Columbia (BC) and
the southern upland portion of the Shuswap watershed. Vernon is the North Okanagan’s regional urban
centre, while Coldstream, Armstrong, Enderby and Lumby are local urban centres, as shown on Map 1.
The Regional District is located approximately 50 kms north of Kelowna and 80 kms east of Kamloops,
and is central to Salmon Arm to the northwest, Sicamous to the north and Oyama to the south.
Figure 1. Location of the Regional District of North Okanagan and map of Electoral Area and municipal boundaries.
The RDNO consists of six municipalities and five Electoral Areas, which cover over 787,000 km2. The
Regional District’s population was 81,237 in 2011 and has been increasing over 1 % annually since 2001,
which is above the provincial average. The majority of the population, which is generally older than the
BC average, has settled in the valleys, were the majority of ALR properties are located. With over 65,000
hectares of land within the ALR, the agricultural land base makes up approximately 9% of the RDNO’s
area. Competition for other land uses is high, especially within the valleys, where urban expansion
pressures are greatest. Due to rapid population growth and continued urban pressure on the ALR, the
North Okanagan’s Regional Growth Strategy was undertaken. Several municipal agricultural area plans
and food security and food system planning has been undertaken in the past. The Regional Agricultural
Area Plan will build upon these initiatives.
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Overview of Communities
Unincorporated Areas
Electoral Area “B” (Rural Vernon)
Electoral Area “B” encompasses 489 km2 to the west, northwest and southeast of the City of Vernon,
and had a population of 3,046 in 2011. It is estimated that 52% of all private land in Area “B” is within
the ALR. Electoral Area “B’ communities are separated by the City of Vernon, Kalamalka Lake, Okanagan
Indian Band and District of Coldstream. Specific communities within Area “B” include:
• Commonage, south of Vernon on the northwest shore of Kalamalka Lake;
• Cosens Bay, south of Vernon on the east shore of Kalamalka Lake;
• Swan Lake, north of Vernon on the west and east shore of Swan Lake; and
• Westside, west of Vernon and west of Lake Okanagan.
Electoral Area “C” (Rural Vernon)
Electoral Area “C” includes 301 km2 to the northwest of Vernon and a population of 3,872 in
2011. Area “C” is home to Silver Star Mountain. Approximately 30% of all the private land in
Area “C” is within the ALR.
Electoral Area “D” (Rural Lumby)
Electoral Area “D” is located at the centre of the Regional District, surrounding the Village of Lumby.
Area “D” had a population of 2,848 in 2011 and is over 1,800 km2 in area. The area has a strong rural
character focusing on the agricultural and forestry sectors, as well as the tourism and recreation
opportunities afforded by its natural geographic features. Although the majority if Electoral Area “D” is
Crown Land, over 17,000 ha of ALR land are within its borders.
Electoral Area “E” (Cherryville)
Electoral Area “E” is located in the eastern portion of the Regional District, located approximately 35 km
east of Lumby, and is 2,600 km2 in area. The vast majority of the land base is Crown Land. The
population of Area “E” was 939 residents in 2011. Cherryville is the primary settlement in Area “E” and
most of the 7,500 ha of ALR lands surround this unincorporated community. Cherryville has a strong
agricultural history and agriculture continues to be the dominant industry.
5
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Electoral Area “F” (Rural Enderby)
Electoral Area “F” is the northern section of the Regional District, extending from the City of Enderby
north to Mara Lake and east to Mabel Lake along the Shuswap River valley. Area “F” includes
approximately 1,800 km2 of land and has a population of almost 3,938 residents in 2011.
Electoral Area “F” contains geography suitable for a wide variety of outdoor recreation, agricultural
production and forestry. The local economy is heavily based on agriculture, particularly beef and dairy,
as well as substantial field crops and small diversified farms along the Shuswap River. There are a
number of small, distinct rural communities within Area “F”, including:
• Mara, at the north of Area “F” and the southern tip of Mara Lake;
• Grindrod, approximately 10 km north of Enderby on Hwy 97A;
• Grandview Bench, northwest of Enderby near the Hwy 97A / 97B junction;
• Ashton Creek, 15 km east of Enderby on Enderby Mabel Lake Rd; and
• Kingfisher / Mabel Lake, at the end of Enderby Mabel Lake Rd.
Municipalities
City of Vernon
The City of Vernon is the Okanagan’s second largest city, with a population of 38,150 residents in 2011
and total area of 94.2 km2. Vernon is located at the north ends of Lake Okanagan and Kalamalka Lake,
approximately 46 km north of Kelowna, 60 km south of Salmon Arm and 117 km south of Kamloops.
Vernon is the primary service and employment centre for the North Okanagan, with major industries
including retail, health care, manufacturing, tourism and hospitality. Although agriculture is not a major
component of the City of Vernon’s economy, over 15% of the City area is within the ALR and agricultural
production is diverse, including tree fruits, honey and vegetables. Over the last ten years, agri-tourism,
spirit production and other value-added enterprises have become more prominent.
District of Coldstream
The District of Coldstream is located directly east of the City of Vernon, and is surrounded by Electoral
Area “B” to the west, Area “C” to the north and Area “D” to the east. Coldstream had a population of
10,314 in 2011 and is 67.3 km2 in area, of which 54% is within the ALR. Agriculture is central to the
identity of Coldstream and agricultural production is one of District’s major industries. Although there
are many small family farms and diversified production, Coldstream Ranch, which was one of the
founding cattle ranching operation, uses over 50% of the District’s ALR lands and occupies a third of the
District’s land base. The District of Coldstream completed an Agricultural Plan in 2009.
Village of Lumby
The Village of Lumby is located 35 km east of Vernon on Highway 6. Lumby has a population of 1,731
residents in 2011 and is 5.27 km2 in area. The Village features a small retail service centre, schools, and
established manufacturing, forestry and agricultural industries. Lumby is also a regional hub for
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recreational and tourism activities. The Village has very little ALR lands within its boundaries, although is
surrounded by ALR lands and agricultural production within Electoral Area “D”.
City of Armstrong
The City of Armstrong is located west of Highway 97A, approximately 30 km north of Vernon. The City
had a population of 4,815 in 2011 and is approximately 5.2 km2 in area. The City boundary is entirely
surrounded by the Township of Spallumcheen. The City boasts a small downtown core with retail and
educational services. Industry in the area includes the Colonial Farms processing plant, agricultural
storage and service facilities and a proud tradition of cheese making. The Interior Provincial Expedition
has been held in Armstrong for over a century.
Township of Spallumcheen
The Township of Spallumcheen is located approximately half way between Vernon and Enderby, and
surrounds the City of Armstrong. The Township is 255 km2 in area, of which over 55% is within the ALR.
The Township has a population of 5,055 residents in 2011 who largely reside on rural residential
properties and family farms.
Although local industry is anchored by the Spallumcheen Industrial Park, Tolko forestry mill and the
Rogers Flour mill, the City of Armstrong traditionally has been the agricultural processing and service
centre of the Township. Agricultural production dominates the landscape and Township has the most
concentrated agricultural industry of the North Okanagan, with dairy, poultry and forage providing the
greatest contributions to the agricultural economy. The Township of Spallumcheen produced an
Agricultural Plan in 2006.
City of Enderby
The City of Enderby is the northern most municipality within the Regional District, and is 13 km north of
Armstrong. Enderby has a population of 2,932 in 2011 and is 4.2 km2 in area. Enderby is bisected by
Highway 97A. Local industries include construction, manufacturing and retail trade and the variety of
retail services provided makes Enderby the local service centre for rural residents in much of Area “F”.
The City boundaries contain few ALR parcels.
First Nations
Okanagan Indian Band
The Okanagan valley is known as the Okanagan Indian Nations traditional territory, or as the Syeelhwh
Nation, which means “the people who live here”. S-Ookanhkchinx or Okanagan translates to mean
“transport toward the head or top end”.3 This refers to the people traveling from the head of the
3
Okanagan Indian Band: An Introduction. http://okib.ca
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Okanagan Lake to where the Okanagan and Columbia rivers meet.
The Okanagan Indian Band has a population of 1,708 Band members and the Okanagan IR#1, which is
within the Greater Vernon area, has a population of 5,193 people and covers an area of over 10,000
acres, including ALR lands. Okanagan IR#1 surrounds the North Arm of Okanagan Lake and Band
members are actively involved in the tourism, service, forestry and agricultural industries.
Splatsin Nation
The Splatsin people reside on Indian reserve lands adjacent to the City of Enderby to the south and
across the Shuswap River to the east. The Splatsin are the most southern tribe of the Shuswap Nation,
the largest Interior Salish speaking First Nation in Canada whose aboriginal territory stretches from the
BC and Alberta border near the Yellowhead Pass to the plateau west of the Fraser River, southeast to
the Arrow Lakes and to the upper reaches of the Columbia River. 4 The Shuswap River was an integral
transportation route used to travel from village to village and to food gathering areas of the Splatsin.
Enderby IR#2, which is north of Spallumcheen and south of Enderby, has a 2011 population of 390
people and is bisected by both Highway 97 and the Shuswap River. Enderby IR#2 covers an area of over
11,000 ha, which includes ALR lands.
In 2013 the Splatsin developed a Crop Suitability and Agriculture Feasibility Study 5 to explore farming
opportunities within their traditional territories and reserve land
Figure 2. Vernon Farmers Market.
4
Splatsin Official Website: http://www.splatsin.ca/about/
5
Splatsin Crop Suitability and Agriculture Feasibility, 2013: http://www.splatsin.ca/wp-content/uploads/CROP-SUITABILIT-IAFv-9-0-October-02-135-PAGES.pdf
8
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History
The history of the North Okanagan is strongly linked to agriculture. Agriculture remains an important
sector of the regional economy, a fundamental part of the landscape and an important way of life for
many residents. Historical accounts of the importance of agriculture in the founding and development of
the North Okanagan are documented within the various local historical museums, community histories
and personal accounts of our agriculturalists. These summaries are based upon documents within the
North Okanagan historical societies, The British Garden of Eden: Settlement History of the Okanagan
Valley, British Columbia (2003), written by Paul M. Koroscil; Okanagan (1999), written by Tanya Lloyd,;
and Jean Webbers’ A Rich and Fruitful Land: The History of the Valleys of the Okanagan, Similkameen
and Shuswap (1999).
Early agricultural production in the North Okanagan was focused on cattle ranching. The local
environment was well suited to cattle grazing and the Okanagan ranches provided beef to expanding
gold mining communities in the Kootenays, Similkameen and Cariboo. The development of the
commercial orchard industry began when land speculators purchased parcels of ranch land within
Greater Vernon and began subdividing them into orchard plots. Installation of irrigation was critical for
marketing these lands as viable orchard properties. Early orchardists often raised cattle or employed
intercropping until trees bore fruit. Cattle, dairy and feed crops continue to be important economic
contributors in the northern part of the North Okanagan during this period.
North Okanagan
When fur traders first came
through the area in the
early 1800s, they found the
Splatsin and Okanagan
people’s
traditional
territory. David Stuart, a
Scottish fur trader in the
employ of the Pacific Fur
Company is credited as the
first
non-First
Nation
person
to
see
the
Okanagan Valley in 1811.
John Stuart, representing
the Hudson’s Bay Company,
followed the trail in 1814
through the Okanagan
Figure 3. BX Ranch circa 1901 (BC Archives).
later by miners during the Interior Gold Rush.
Valley, which was used until
1847 by fur traders, and
Missionaries built the first settlement at the head of Okanagan Lake at Priest’s Valley around 1840.
Some miners stayed on after a small gold rush at Cherry Creek, 50 km east of Vernon, as did a few of the
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Overlanders of 1862. Charles and Forbes Vernon, Cornelius O’Keefe, A.L. Fortune and J.B. Burns were
the first settlers to establish large cattle ranch holdings in the 1860s.
The Interior BC gold rushes between 1858 and 1865 directly influenced the development of the North
Okanagan by attracting newcomers and facilitating the development of new roads and towns, creating
demand for food that resulted in new markets and an increase in the number of farmers in the region.
By 1890 the Okanagan Valley was referred to as the “wheat field of British Columbia” and the “food
producing base of the Province”.
Greater Vernon
The Greater Vernon Area, which includes the City of Vernon, District of Coldstream and Electoral Areas
“B” and “C”, has had a very strong and diverse agricultural history, from grassland cattle ranching to the
orchard capital of North Okanagan. The area's first inhabitants, the Interior Salish, were semi-nomadic,
following the seasonal sources of animal and plant foods. The first name given to this location was the
Salish Nintle Moos Chin or "jumping over place where the creek narrows," which describes a section of
Swan Lake Creek that now passes under Vernon's main street.
Fur traders were regularly trekking through the valley in the early 1800s, but the Cariboo Gold Rush of
the 1860s launched European settlement around Vernon. At first, miners and missionaries also passed
through on their way north. Then cattlemen began driving beef from south of the border to the mining
camps. The first settlement in what was to become Vernon began in the 1860s, following the discovery
of gold in the Monashee Mountains. The establishment of several large cattle ranches followed,
including O’Keefe Ranch and BX Ranch. A townsite, Centreville, was laid out in 1885 and the name was
changed to Vernon in 1887 in honour of Forbes George Vernon, a pioneer settler who became Chief
Commissioner of Lands and Works for BC. Vernon was incorporated as a city in 1892.
Development of the city rapidly accelerated when the Shuswap and Okanagan Railway was constructed,
connecting the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) mainline to Vernon in 1891. An extension of the railway
to nearby Okanagan Landing led to the launching of the first CPR sternwheeler, the SS Aberdeen, on
Okanagan Lake in 1893. In the 1890s, the fruit industry began to flourish when Lord Aberdeen, who
latter became Governor-General of Canada, purchased the Coldstream Ranch and planted extensive
orchards. The first fruit orchards were planted in 1892, but it was not until irrigation became available
with construction of the Grey Canal in 1907 that the fruit industry became a major economic driver in
Vernon.
By the First World War, the Vernon area was one of the largest producers of fruit in the British Empire.
In conjunction with the large orchards of the area, packing houses were also significant employers in the
community. By 1910 fruit and vegetable canning and dehydrating had become a major industrial
employment sector in the area. As commercial vegetable farming became less economically viable for
farmers in the 1950s, and the ability to transport fresh fruit and vegetables to larger production facilities
was created, canneries and dehydrating facilities ceased operations.
By the mid-1960s, before the ALR was introduced, larger farm holdings were under pressure from new
residents as well as those moving from downtown Vernon to the outskirts. Urbanization of farmland
was especially acute around Coldstream, Swan Lake, and Okanagan Landing. The area known as Bella
Vista Bench surrounding Vernon was mainly agricultural until the 1960s when rapid urban expansion
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began to occur. The result of this urbanizing trend was a reduction in the amount and intensity of fruit
production (orchards) in the region. Only patches of orchards remained throughout urban subdivisions
in the region in the 1970s and 1980s. By the 1980s the majority of crop production was forage and
grains and orchards. Vernon is now a prosperous marketing and distribution centre for the northern
Okanagan Valley. Lumber, agriculture, manufacturing, construction and tourism form the economic
base.
Armstrong/Spallumcheen
The Okanagan and Splatsin First Nations used the Spallumcheen valley as part of their traditional
territory. The name Spallumcheen comes from a Salish word that means "beautiful valley." The Cariboo
Gold Rush of the 1860s began European settlement around Armstrong and Spallumcheen. Miners and
missionaries passed through heading north, followed by cattlemen who began driving cattle from south
of the border to the mining camps.
Spallumcheen was first settled in 1866 by A.L. Fortune and J.B. Burns established Lansdowne, the
original townsite. The year after Thomas Greenhow, Cornelius O’Keefe & Thomas Woods established
L&A Ranch with the cattle that had been brought from Oregon. When the Shuswap and Okanagan
Railway line was extended south to Okanagan Landing in 1892, the townsite was moved to its present
location. The town was named for London financier W.C. Heaton-Armstrong, who raised the bonds for
the railway project. Armstrong incorporated as a city in 1913 and historically was the business, shipping
and processing centre of the agricultural industry of Spallumcheen. Armstrong’s Interior Provincial
Expedition, started in 1900, has become one of western Canada's largest livestock expositions.
The
Township
of
Spallumcheen
was
incorporated
in
1892.
Innovative farmers drained
swamplands and exposed
fertile black soil ideal for
vegetable production, which
attracted many farmers,
including Chinese immigrants
beginning in 1907. Along with
the berries, potatoes and
turnips
already
being
cultivated, farmers began
growing celery, lettuce and
cabbage giving Armstrong the
nickname "Celery City". After
Figure 4. Spallumcheen fields. Date unknown (BC Archives).
WWI, Armstrong became one
of the largest asparagus
growing centres in Canada.
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The better-drained benchlands and drier areas of the valley were excellent for grains, hay and pasture.
Along with poultry and hog production, the area came to be known for dairy farming. After WWII, many
Dutch immigrants came to the area and established dairy farms within the valley. A creamery was
established early on and Armstrong became know as the home of Armstrong Cheese and cheese making
is still a tradition within the area.
Greater Enderby
South of the present Enderby townsite, Overlander A.L. Fortune established his agricultural land
holdings in 1866, becoming the first European settler in the North Okanagan. Fortune's place on the
bend in the Shuswap River, which became the City of Enderby, made an ideal docking area for
steamboats and paddlewheelers from Kamloops shipping supplies to settlers in the Okanagan.
Enderby was named in 1887 after a Jean Ingelow poem, in which the villagers were saved from a rising
tide of water by the chiming of church bells playing the tune The Bridges of Enderby. With the
completion of the Shuswap and Okanagan Railroad in 1892, the small town began to grow and prosper,
with the construction of a flourmill, sawmill and brickyard by 1895. The business district expanded and
the City incorporated in 1905. It was variously known after its first settlement in 1876 as Spallumcheen,
Steamboat Landing, Lambly's Landing or Belvidere, before the present name was settled upon in 1887.
Grain was the main crop of the Greater Enderby area until 1923 when Enderby's flourmill closed,
resulting in a shift to dairying. The Greater Enderby area continues to have a vibrant and diverse
agricultural sector, with grains and forage, growth of the organic sector, vegetables, Christmas trees and
cattle. Farms servicing niche markets have also become established, including the production of fallow
deer, ostriches, llamas, goats and Morgan horses.
Greater Lumby/Cherryville
The discovery of gold in Cherry Creek, near present day Cherryville, brought prospectors and miners to
the area in 1863. The original settlers recognized the potential of the White Valley and began to acquire
land for farming. One of the first settlers established a local sawmill and began forestry activities have
been central to the local economy ever since. A store was built in 1891; the townsite was laid out the
next year and eventually named for Moses Lumby, the government agent in Vernon. The Village was
incorporated in 1955. Farming and sawmilling sustained the small town and the surrounding
unincorporated area since settlement and both industries continue to be significant contributors to the
economy.
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Policy and Regulatory Context
Agriculture has been a key part of the identity of the communities of the North Okanagan since the first
cattle ranch was established by A.L. Fortune almost 150 years ago. With growth of the region, especially
over the last 40 years, residential, commercial and industrial development pressures on agricultural
lands have intensified, although the agriculture sector continues to thrive, diversify and innovate.
The agriculture industry is regulated and influenced by policy, legislation and regulation at the local,
provincial and federal government levels. Awareness of jurisdictional responsibilities and authority can
be useful in defining policy, strategies, actions and pilot projects that can be taken by local government
and those that require broader collaboration.
This section summarizes some of the more influential policies and regulations. A more complete list is
provided in the Appendix.
Federal
Strategic Initiatives
Growing Forward 2 is designed to help the agricultural industry position itself to respond to future
opportunities and to realize its full potential as a significant contributor to the economy. An estimated
$426.90 million is being invested in BC through Growing Forward 2 from 2013 to 2018.
Canada Agricultural Products Act
The Canada Agricultural Products Act regulates the import, export and inter‐provincial trade and
marketing of agricultural products. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) administers many of the
agricultural import and export activities. This Act standardizes agricultural grading and inspecting
procedures across Canada.
Additional Federal Legislation Affecting Agriculture
Additional federal legislation that influences various aspects of the agriculture industry include:
• Canada Grain Act
• Farm Debt Mediation Act
• Fertilizers Act
• Plant Protection Act
• Canada Wildlife Act
• Farm Income Protection Act
• Fisheries Act
• Seeds Act
• Consumer Packaging and Labelling
• Farm Products Agencies Act
• Act Food and Drugs Act
• Species at Risk Act
• Customs Act
• Feeds Act
• Health of Animals Act
• Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act
• Excise Tax Act
• Migratory Birds Convention Act
• Excise and Import Permits Act
• Pest Control Products Act
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Provincial
Strategic Initiatives
In 2008, the BC Ministry of Agriculture released a BC Agriculture Plan for the province entitled Growing a
Healthy Future for BC Families. The plan outlined 23 strategies to sustain and facilitate the growth and
diversification of the agriculture industry. The 2012 BC Jobs Plan Agr-ifoods Strategy builds on the
initiatives undertaken through the BC Agriculture Plan by setting priorities and actions to guide the
growth of the agricultural sector over a five year period in three key areas:
1. Focus on high‐quality, high‐value products;
2. Expand domestic and international markets; and
3. Enhance the agri-food sector’s competitiveness.
In 2012, the Province also provided a $2 million investment in a Buy Local program to help agricultural
industries and retail operations promote BC foods. The funding assisted local businesses and
organizations to launch or expand their marketing campaigns, including the Vernon Farmers’ Market
and several regional agricultural producer associations.
Agricultural Land Commission Act
Up to the 1970s nearly 6,000 hectares of prime agricultural land were lost each year to urban and other
uses in BC. The Provincial government responded by introducing BC's Land Commission Act on April 18,
1973. The Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) was created with the following mandate:
• To preserve agricultural land;
• To encourage farming on agricultural land in collaboration with other communities of interest;
• To encourage local governments, first nations, the provincial government and its agents to
enable and accommodate farm use of agricultural land and uses compatible with agriculture in
their plans, bylaws, and policies.
The ALC administers the ALC Act and is responsible for the ALR, a provincial zone in which agriculture is
recognized as the priority use. The purpose of the ALR is to ensure that the province’s agricultural land
base is preserved and available for farm uses both now and in the future. The ALC Act takes precedence
over, but does not replace, other legislation and bylaws that may apply to the ALR. Local and regional
governments, as well as other Provincial agencies, are expected to plan in accordance with the
Provincial policy of preserving agricultural land.
On March 27, 2014, the Provincial government introduced Bill 24 - Agricultural Land Commission
Amendment Act. The Bill subsequently passed on May 14, 2014 creating two ALR zones, six regional
panels and incorporating changes to ALC governance. The RDNO remains in Zone 1, which maintains the
same priorities for decision-making regarding exclusion, non-farm use, and subdivision applications, but
will do so by a three-person regional panel.
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Agricultural Land Reserve Use, Subdivision and Procedure Regulation
The Agricultural Land Reserve Use, Subdivision and Procedure Regulation, adopted in 2002, specifies
permitted land uses within the ALR. This regulation identifies farm activities and other, non‐farm uses
permitted in the ALR, notification requirements for soil removal and placement of fill, procedures for
submitting applications and identifies filing requirements. Land use activities not included in the
Regulation, such as subdividing land, building additional residences or excluding land from the ALR,
require approval by the ALC through the application process. The Province has proposed expanding the
uses that are permitted within the ALR. The consultation and Regulation review process is ongoing at
this time.
Farm Practices Protection Act
The Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act was passed in 1996. The intent of the Act is to protect
farms, using “normal farm practices”, from unwarranted nuisance complaints involving dust, odour,
noise and other disturbances. The Farm Practices Board, now called the Farm Industry Review Board
(FIRB), was established to deal with complaints that arise from the Act and to determine whether the
issue results from normal farm practices.
Local Government Act
Certain provisions of the Local Government Act address farming activities through community planning;
zoning; nuisance regulations; removal and deposit of soil; weed and pest control; water use and
drainage.
Land Title Act
The Land Title Act gives Approving Officers the power to assess potential impacts of proposed
subdivisions on farmland. Within the five Electoral Areas of the RDNO, the Approving Officer is the
Provincial Approving Officer (PAO) with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Each
municipality has their own Approving Officer who is responsible all subdivision application within the
municipal boundaries.
BC Assessment Act
Section 23 of the Assessment Act and BC Reg 411/95, the Classification of Land as a Farm Regulation
(the “Farm Class Regulation”), set out the requirements that must be met for land to be classified as
“Farm” for assessment and tax purposes. Land classified as Farm must be used all or in part for primary
agricultural production.
Water Sustainability Act
The Water Sustainability Act (WSA) is the principal water management legislation in BC and plays a key
role in the sustainability of BC’s water supply. The Act provides for the licensing of activities including
use, diversion, and storage of water. The Act also addresses the nature of permitted changes to stream
courses under application. The WSA leaves the mechanisms for granting groundwater licences to be
developed through Provincial regulations, which are currently in development. This could give Provincial
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and local governments more time to consult with water users in water scarce regions before
unsustainable users of water are locked in to new licences. The WSA allows the provincial government
to make orders to protect “critical environmental flows” in times of scarcity, meaning flows to protect
fish populations and aquatic ecosystems. Water for agriculture is acknowledged in the WSA as an
important interest that may warrant specific attention in certain watersheds, including the Okanagan.
Water Sustainability Plans
The new Water Sustainability Act augments the current ability to undertake Water Sustainability Plans
under Part 4 of the Water Act. The intent is to have a watershed-defined or issue-defined process where
interested parties, including local governments, the provincial government, water users and First
Nations, can come to an agreement about most aspects of water. Plans are not limited to water
allocation but may consider water quality, drought planning, water sharing, changes to existing licences,
and anything else set out in the terms of reference.
Water Sustainability Plans may designate “dedicated agricultural water”, also known as agricultural
water reserves. This allows the water sustainability planning process to prioritize or establish unique
rules for agriculture, which will be particularly useful when considering how reductions in water use will
be handled through drought planning and management.
Provincial Agriculture Zone Wildlife Program
The Provincial Agriculture Zone Wildlife Program (PAZWP) was developed in 2009 to accommodate
special objectives in agricultural zones and provide special opportunities for hunters. PAZWP helps
coordinate crop damage prevention, mitigation and compensation strategies for damage done by
certain species of wildlife. PAZWP has helped increase hunting opportunities in agricultural areas and
ungulate winter range zones.
Forest and Range Practices Act and Range Act
The Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) and its regulations govern the activities of forest and range
licensees in BC. The statute sets the requirements for planning, road building, logging, reforestation and
grazing. The Range Act gives the right to use Crown land for grazing or hay cutting. However, it is the
FRPA and its various regulations that give direction on how and when rangeland may be used.
The Range Planning and Practices Regulation requires that those who use Crown lands for livestock
grazing must submit either a Range Use Plan (“RUP”) or Range Stewardship Plan (“RSP”) for approval by
the Ministry of Agriculture prior to using rangeland.
Environmental Management Act
The Agricultural Waste Control Regulation and associated Code of Practice fall under the Environmental
Management Act. These regulate practices for using, storing and managing agricultural waste material
in order to prevent pollution. The Regulation and the Code deal with agricultural waste storage and
on‐farm composting. The Organic Matter Recycling Regulation specifies how composting is conducted in
commercial facilities, including feedstock, size, technology, siting and procedures, and compost quality.
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Meat Inspection Regulation
Until 2004, meat inspection in BC was decentralized and the decision to implement inspection programs
for locally marketed meat was left to the discretion of local governments. On-farm slaughter for
commercial purposes was legal and largely unsupervised. In 2003, the BSE (Bovine Spongiform
Encephalopathy) outbreak, also known as “made cow” disease was the catalyst for province regulation
of meat inspection. The Meat Inspection Regulation (MIR) established the requirements for all
provincially licensed slaughter facilities in BC. The regulation came into force in 2004, and compliance
became mandatory on September 30, 2007. The graduated licensing approach includes several levels of
slaughter operation for provincially licensed facilities:
• Class A facilities include slaughter and ‘cut and wrap’ services;
• Class B facilities include slaughter only;
• Class C was temporarily introduced in 2007 to make it possible for many slaughter operators to
become fully licensed. These licenses have been phased out;
• Class D ‐ Retail Sales – permits direct producer sales to local consumers and to retail
establishments with geographic restrictions. Restricts production to between one and 25 animal
units (approximately 11,350 kg live weight); and
• Class E ‐ Direct Sales –permits direct producer sales to local consumers. Restricts production to
between one and 10 animal units (approximately 4,540 kg live weight). Class E licenses are also
limited to the designated geographic areas but may be available to other rural and remote areas
of the province on a case‐by‐case basis.
In February 2014, the Ministry of Agriculture unveiled a pilot project that provided five Class E licences
in the North Okanagan over a two-year period.
BC Environmental Farm Plan Program
The Canada‐BC Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) Program is a voluntary program that assists farmers in
developing an environmental action plan for their farm that enhances natural resources and reduces the
possibility of accidental harm to soil, air, water and biodiversity values. Those who enroll in the program
become eligible for cost-share funding for certain on-farm Best Management Practices projects through
the Growing Forward ARDCorp program.
Local and Regional
Land use regulation by local governments is established under the Community Charter and the Local
Government Act, which contains extensive land use regulations, zoning powers and subdivision powers.
This enables local governments to adopt regional growth strategies and OCPs that establish a framework
for land use regulation, including zoning bylaws. While the Province has largely delegated authority over
land use and development to local governments, it has retained authority over agricultural land, forest
land, riparian areas, heritage sites, Electoral Area subdivision and the Provincial road network.
The RDNO’s Regional Growth Strategy, as well as municipal and Electoral Area OCPs, recognize
agriculture as a significant contributor to the region's landscape, identity and economy. Collectively,
these plans express a commitment to the preservation and strengthening of the region's rural economy
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and lifestyle, including the protection of lands capable of agricultural productivity, encouraging a diverse
and profitable agricultural sector and supporting a sustainable and resilient local food system. Every
municipal and Electoral Area OCP bylaw is required to contain a Regional Context Statement, which
describes how the policies are aligned with the RGS.
Municipal and Regional District zoning bylaws regulate and permit uses within zones. Zoning bylaws can
influence agricultural land in several ways, including through the setting of minimum parcel sizes and
maximum building foot prints, setting parameters around secondary dwellings, setbacks, and
establishing the potential for subdivision of agricultural lands, to name a few.
Some examples of RGS and OCP policies that promote both agriculture and the ALR include:
• Providing for a full range of agricultural uses in the ALR and in agriculturally zoned areas;
• Encouraging value-added activities that can improve farm viability;
• Limiting subdivision through the use of large minimum lot sizes;
• Recognizing and protecting the needs and activities of farm operations when considering
adjacent and nearby land uses;
• Preserving contiguous areas of agricultural land and avoiding severance by recreation, parks,
and transportation and utility corridors; and
• Encouraging partnerships with the agricultural community, senior governments and private
enterprise to promote the development of the agricultural sector.
Local plans and zoning bylaws are in a constant state of flux. At the time of writing (early 2015), several
RDNO and member municipality OCPs were going through review processes. As a result, it is challenging
to provide a rigorous analysis of policies and bylaws as they pertain to agriculture at any specific point in
time. A summary of the OCPs (in their current state) and Zoning Bylaws, along with descriptions
regarding their general support for agriculture, is provided in the Appendix.
Regional Growth Strategy (RGS)
On September 21, 2011, the RDNO adopted the North Okanagan Regional Growth Strategy, Bylaw
#2500. The RGS was developed over four years by the RDNO in partnership with the region’s member
municipalities, electoral area representatives, and in coordination with other government agencies,
stakeholder groups and the general public. The purpose of the RGS is to guide the region’s growth and
direct development in such a way as to achieve the needs and objectives of the region and the member
municipalities.
The vision of the RGS includes promoting:
• Sustainable communities
• Protection of rural and agricultural lands
• Broad and sustainable employment and business opportunities
• Diverse housing choices
• Complete and vibrant neighbourhoods
• Protection of the region’s natural environment
• Sustainable use and protection of the region’s resources
• Financial sustainability and good regional governance
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The RGS focuses specifically on regional agriculture in the Agriculture & Food Systems regional policy
section, and includes policy and long term goals which influence agricultural land use, infrastructure and
productivity in the Urban Containment & Rural Protection, Water Stewardship, Economic Development,
Transportation & Infrastructure, and Environment & Natural Lands policy sections. Goals and priority
actions, which have the possibility of influencing agriculture in the region, are identified in the annual
action planning, with specific implementation and monitoring actions identified and prioritized.
Official Community Plans
The purpose of an OCP is to provide a long-term (20 year) community vision to guide and direct land use
and decision-making within a municipality or Electoral Area. An OCP affects agriculture and the use of
land adjacent to agriculture by defining the type of present and proposed land uses within the
jurisdiction. Once an OCP is in place, local government decisions to amend existing regulations and
approval requirements must be consistent with the OCP.
Local governments may also designate Development Permit Areas (DPAs) for the protection of farmland
in the OCP, and establish guidelines for how development may occur adjacent to the ALR. A DPA is a tool
used by local governments to ensure that the potential impacts of new development are identified and
addressed. DPAs for farmland protection help to minimize conflicts between non-farming and farming
areas and provide an opportunity for adjacent non-farm property owners and all professionals involved
in land use alteration and development to gain greater awareness of the types of agricultural activities
occurring or planned within the protection areas.
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Select Local Agricultural Planning Initiatives
The RAAP will be informed by, and created upon, the extensive agricultural and food system planning
work that has been undertaken by the RDNO, member municipalities, community organizations and the
non-profit sector in the past. Some select plans and studies have been summarized below.
Regional Food System Workshop (2014)
Regional District of North Okanagan/Healthy Communities BC
The RDNO held a Regional Food System Workshop to discuss key issues and collaboration opportunities
in advance of launching the Regional Agricultural Area Plan. The workshop consisted of two parts, one
focused on farming and food production, and the second addressing issues of food access and food
security. Both sessions were broken into five parts: Introduction of workshop; overview presentation;
and three facilitated round tables focusing on specific high level topics associated with the food system.
Two key themes emerged as the top priorities from the day: the need and opportunity to build
on/develop/and deploy marketing and branding for Okanagan foods and the need and opportunity for a
range of education opportunities from the personal to the professional.
North Okanagan Community Farm Business and Operating Plan (2012)
Kindale Development Association/Okanagan College
This plan for a community farm was developed by the Social Planning Council of British Columbia. The
community farm would be a multi-functional endeavor incorporating a wide variety of activities on a
half acre of land. The main goal of the farm would be to provide crops that could be used by community
organizations. A partnership in principle between Okanagan College and Kindale Development
Association was initiated to lead the farm’s development. The vision of the farm is to facilitate a
productive community farm where people participate in meaningful activities that foster personal
growth, strengthen the local food system, and demonstrate the value of land, food, health, and
community.
City of Vernon Public Feasibility Study and Business Plan (2011)
City of Vernon
The City of Vernon explored the feasibility of a permanent downtown public market that could also
incorporate incubator kitchens, a four season farmers’ market and other centralized tourism and artisan
facilities as a downtown anchor. The finds of the study were positive and identified private-public
partnerships as an implementation mechanism.
Coldstream Agricultural Plan (2009)
District of Coldstream
This plan was developed for the District of Coldstream in two parts. Part one included a Background
Report and part two included a Planning Strategy. The objectives were to analyze the agricultural
industry and resource base; identify issues, trends, opportunities, and challenges; develop strategies and
policies to protect farmland and establish criteria for ALR applications; and provide recommendations
that will promote public awareness of the importance of agriculture. Recommendations towards
improving the local agricultural sector fell under the categories of: Legislation & Governance; Industry
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Growth & Learning; Infrastructure; and Environmental Health. The majority of the recommendations
were regulations-based. The plan has not been formally adopted by the District of Coldstream.
North Okanagan Food System Plan (2009)
Regional District of North Okanagan
The North Okanagan Food System Plan is a comprehensive document that put forth a variety of
recommendations to enhance the economic viability of the agricultural community in the region. These
recommendations covered the following areas:
• Support for protection of the agricultural land base
• Water conservation and distribution
• Distribution and transportation
• Processing
• Enhancing economic opportunities
• Increasing consumer engagement
• Emergency preparedness
The Food System Plan found that the RDNO was completely self-reliant for apples, chickens, milk (but
not milk processing) and forage crops used for livestock production. It also found that the local grain
industry was the most self-reliant, diversified and integrated sector of local agriculture. Local flour
milling, secondary food processing and feed processing for the livestock industry contribute greatly to
the regional economy. There is some capacity for expansion on the production of fruit, vegetables and
grains for human consumption and grains, forage crops and pasture for livestock, but there are
limitations with winter temperatures and day length. The challenges it identified included the high cost
of land, difficulty generating income through farming, and a shortage of seasonal workers.
North Okanagan Food Security Assessment and Action Plan (2007)
North Okanagan Food Action Coalition
The North Okanagan Food Security Assessment and Action Plan’s objective was to act as a policy tool for
local governments and community organizations to address food security and access to healthy foods.
The Plan found that in 2005 agriculture contributed 3.3% to the regional economy. While the region has
the capacity to meet all nutritional needs based on the agricultural land base, the plan found that
current production levels fall short of self-sufficiency. The results of a survey undertaken showed that all
of the food producer/processor respondents indicated that they need to supplement their income with
off-farm work in order to meet their expenses. A planning study through UNBC also found that the
Vernon Farmers’ Market has an estimated 1680 customers per market session and the average
customer only spends $18.66 per visit. They also found that only 2.68% of the Vernon population shops
at the Farmers’ Market per session. This indicates a large potential area for growth. Key issues that were
identified include: lack of consumer awareness, lack of restaurants using local products, lack of regional
branding, and a lack of space for local growers at retailers.
Spallumcheen Agricultural Plan (2006)
Township of Spallumcheen
The Spallumcheen Agricultural Plan was developed in three phases. Phase one was a Situation Profile,
phase two was an issues and opportunities analysis, and phase three was a final report. The plan was
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developed to assist with implementation of agricultural policies contained in the OCP. Key issues
identified in the plan include protection land and water, agricultural viability, the agro-environmental
interface, and the regulatory system. Goals of the plan revolve around supporting and strengthening the
local agricultural sector by reducing regulatory red tape and improving the efficiency and productivity of
current operations.
ALR Land Capability Inventory (2006-2008) and ALR Boundary Re-Alignment
Regional District of North Okanagan and Agricultural Land Commission
The boundaries of the ALR in the North
Okanagan were established by Provincial
officials working with Regional District staff
in the 1980s. At that time the ALR area in
the RDNO was established at 70,280
hectares. Over time some land in the region
has been included and excluded from the
ALR such that there are now about 65,000
hectares in the ALR. Beginning in 2006, the
RDNO undertook a review of agricultural
land productivity both within and outside of
ALR designated lands. This inventory
allowed the identification of lands with
lower productivity soils which may be
eligible for exclusion and identified lands
with high productivity which could be
included in the ALR should property owners
be amenable.
Figure 5. ALR zone (green) in RDNO (ALC, 2014).
An ALR boundary review for Electoral Area
“D’ (Rural Lumby) and “E” (Cherryville) was
completed in 2000 and resulted in the ALC excluding 3,660 ha from the ALR due to minimal agricultural
capability due to soil, topographic factors or existing non-farm uses. 6 The need for a review of the ALR
boundary in Electoral Areas “B”,“C” and “F” was brought up during the last update of the OCPs for those
areas. Additional public meetings were held to refine these policies and discussions were held with
Advisory Planning Commissions and representatives from the ALC. It was concluded to examine only 16
peripheral areas of the ALR, which were defined and evaluated in 2008. As a result, all of Electoral Area
“C” and Electoral Area “F” as well as Electoral Area “B” in the Greater Vernon area were examined to
determine if any areas should be excluded or included in the ALR. A significant area was recommended
for inclusion in the Grandview Bench area northwest of the City of Enderby. A total of 1,873 ha were
recommended for exclusion from the ALR. This exclusion was granted by the ALC.
6
ALC Application #33425-0, ALC decision on October 24, 2000
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Environmental Context
Water Resources
Water: Current and Future Use
The North Okanagan is located at the junction of the Interior Plateau and Columbia Mountains, draining
west and south in the Fraser and Columbia River systems. The Fraser system includes Sugar and Mabel
Lakes and the Shuswap River. The Columbia system starts at Waby Lake and Fortune Creek and drains
into Okanagan Lake. Deep Creek originates in a side valley east of Mount Ida and west of Enderby, and
flows south in this valley to join the main Okanagan Valley near Armstrong. From there, Deep Creek
flows southwest in the Okanagan Valley to the north end of Okanagan Lake.
Major aquifers in the North Okanagan include:
• Spallumcheen Aquifer
• O’Keefe Aquifer
• Eagle Rock Aquifer
• Sleepy Hollow Aquifer
• Hullcar Aquifers
• Deep Creek, Tuhok
The two major watersheds that are of importance to
the agricultural community in the North Okanagan
are the Shuswap River Basin and the Okanagan River
Basin. The northern extents of both Lake Okanagan
and Kalamalka Lake are at the southwest of the
Regional District. Other significant lakes include Swan
Lake to the north of Vernon, Mara Lake at the north,
and Mabel Lake and Sugar Lake near the centre.
Shuswap River is the main river running through the
area, which travels between Sugar Lake, Mabel Lake
and Mara Lake.
Shuswap River Basin
Figure 6. Shuswap River Watershed Map (RDNO, 2014)
Along its approximately 150-kilometer westward
course the Shuswap River Watershed (SRW) crosses
forests, valleys, two large lakes (Sugar and Mabel)
and fertile agricultural land before discharging into
Mara Lake, which is a tributary lake of Shuswap Lake.
A number of communities are situated along the
Shuswap River including Cherryville, Kingfisher,
Ashton Creek, Splatsin Indian Band Reserve Lands,
the City of Enderby, Grindrod and Mara.
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A major tributary, Bessette Creek, flows through the Village of Lumby, linking this community to the
Shuswap River.
Ranching and farming activities dominate the fertile valley and bench areas of the SRW, particularly
south and west of Mabel Lake. These agricultural activities include beef, poultry, and dairy production,
as well as associated services such as meat processing and feed mills. In addition, active range tenures
are held throughout the SRW, particularly on crown lands west of the Upper Shuswap River and in both
the Middle and Lower Shuswap River Watersheds.
A Technical Assessment 7 conducted in 2013 concluded that overall surface water use does not appear to
be an issue relative to flow in the Shuswap River; however, summer use is up to 2.5 times higher than
the annual use due to agricultural and domestic irrigation. Therefore, water use in late summer and
early fall has the ability to significantly reduce in-stream flows. Surface water availability is further
compounded by a trend of lower summer flows over the last 30 years attributed to climate change.
There are a total of 1,215 licenses for surface water use in the SRW recorded with the BC MoE. More
than 95% of the allocated water is licensed to agricultural use for irrigation and water utility use for
irrigation and water works. Water utility water use is largely supported by large reservoirs that store
freshet flows that are then released for diversion in summer, while the majority of farm irrigation
licenses rely on instream flows. Overall water allocation relative to stream flow is relatively low. If all
water licenses were fully utilized, annual water use would total close to 4 m3/s, which is less than 5% of
the man annual flow recorded at the WSC station in the Shuswap River near Enderby. Further, most
water utilities use much less water than they are licenses for (average use is 34% of allocation), so the
total annual water use is estimated to equivalent to 1.4 m3/s. Overall water use does not appear to be
an issue relative to flow; however, summer use is up to 2.5 times higher than the annual use due to
agricultural and domestic irrigation, and summer flows are much lower. As such, water use in late
summer and early fall has the ability to significantly reduce instream flows in some tributary streams of
the SRW.
Based on groundwater consumption estimates, the Technical Assessment further inferred that the
potential groundwater use as a %of total groundwater flow was < 1% in the Upper Shuswap River; 3.5%
in the Middle Shuswap River; and as high as 44% in the Lower Shuswap River. This 44% accounted for
groundwater withdrawals from private wells and municipal water wells. Results of the groundwater
assessment identified that significant data gaps exist with regard to understanding groundwater flow
characteristics and aquifer parameters, which are both key in developing an understanding of
groundwater quantities in the area.
The Shuswap River Watershed Sustainability Plan 8 (2014) outlines an Objective and set of Strategies that
involve the agricultural community within the North Okanagan. These include:
7
Shuswap River Watershed Technical Assessment (2013). Golder and Associates.
http://www.rdno.ca/docs/120203_shuswap_tech_assess_text.pdf
8
Shuswap River Watershed Sustainability Plan (2014). Regional District of North Okanagan.
http://www.rdno.ca/docs/141114_SRWSP_FinalFormat.pdf
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Objective 2: Agricultural Management Practices:
Agricultural operations (both commercial and hobby farms) employ management practices that respect
the importance of natural ecosystems to ensure the long term success of both.
Strategies
2.1 Through industry associations, farmers continue to educate other farmers re: best management
practices, new technologies and identify educational opportunities.
2.2 Utilize existing programs such as Environmental Farm Plans and lobby to secure the long term
funding of such programs.
2.3 Work with range managers to ensure appropriate levels of range land grazing including livestock
density, grazing locations and elevations.
2.4 Work and collaborate with local agricultural associations to develop and implement education
opportunities (e.g. Best Management Practices).
2.5 Identify funding opportunities to mitigate and reduce agricultural impacts on the natural
environment (e.g. removing corrals, fencing sensitive sites and providing off-stream watering areas).
2.6 Investigate potential agricultural run-off input sources to the Shuswap River, its tributaries and
groundwater. Work with exiting and new operators to reduce impacts.
Okanagan Basin
Two-thirds (67%) of the water used in the Okanagan Basin
is derived from surface sources (lakes and streams), and
22% is derived from groundwater, which is currently
unlicensed. The remaining 11% comes from recycling
wastewater and by importing water across the basin
boundary from adjacent areas. A significant portion of the
surface water is derived from groundwater. However, the
state of knowledge of groundwater supply potential,
aquifer health, and the actual amount of groundwater
being used is poor. Groundwater is increasingly used as a
water source as surface water becomes fully allocated in
some areas.
An Agricultural Water Demand Model (AWDM) was
developed for the Okanagan Basin in 2010 through a
partnership between the Okanagan Basin Water Board
and the Canada-British Columbia Water Supply Expansion
Program. The AWDM was developed to provide current
and future agriculture water demand estimates for the
Okanagan Basin. The model calculates water use on ALR
properties and obtains a total for the entire basin or sub
basins. Crop, irrigation system type, soils and climate data
are used to calculate the water demand.
Figure 7. Okanagan Basin
(Okanagan Basin Water Board, 2014).
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The calculations are basin-wide and include the RDNO, Regional District of
Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.
Central Okanagan, and
Agricultural crop irrigation represents 64% of the outdoor water use in the basin. This does not include a
significant number of farms that may have an irrigation system and are entitled to water, but are
currently not using their system. 120 million litres of agricultural water is used to irrigate 18,300 ha, or
an average of 660 mm per ha. Agricultural irrigation is a more efficient use of water than other outdoor
water users. The other three main outdoor uses – golf courses, parks, and residential landscaping – use
a total of 68,000 million litres to irrigate 7585 ha, or an average of 900 mm per ha.
Of the irrigated agricultural lands, 13,790 ha (75%) is supplied by surface water sources which includes
both private licences and water purveyors. A total of 739 ha (4%) is irrigated with reclaimed water and
the remaining 3,887 ha (21%) is irrigated from groundwater. Some farming operations in the RDNO,
notably in Spallumcheen, have started using reclaimed water for irrigation, but this still represents only
a small portion of the total water use. Forage crops including alfalfa, corn and grass combined are 7,937
ha (43%) of the irrigated acreage in the entire Okanagan basin. Apples, berries, cherries, fruits,
vegetables and grapes combine to make up 9,595 hectares (52%) of the irrigated area. Forage grass,
which makes up 27.5% of the irrigated area, has 35% of the water demand in the basin. The total area
that is currently irrigated by efficient irrigation systems; drip, microspray and microsprinkler systems for
the horticulture sector is 3,787 ha or 20%. However, 52% of the agricultural irrigated acreage,
predominantly fruits and vegetables, can potentially use more efficient irrigation systems than those
that are currently being used.
Agricultural irrigation represents the largest proportion of source water demands within the
Spallumcheen valley. Total irrigated area in Spallumcheen is 3,552 ha with a yearly requirement of 7,800
million litres/year or 700 l/s. Peak requirements in Spallumcheen may be as high as 2,770 l/s.
Climate change scenarios developed by UBC and the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre (PARC) in
Summerland predict that winter snow packs will decrease as the climate warms and the snow level
moves higher up the mountains. Further, agricultural water demands are expected to increase as
climate change creates hotter summers and longer growing seasons.
Climate change, population growth, and expansion of the agricultural land base are expected to result in
significantly increased water withdrawals from surface and groundwater sources in the Okanagan Basin,
especially during summer months. Augmenting water supply by increasing water storage capacity would
help meet future water management challenges, although increasing storage is more costly than
reducing demand and opportunities for water storage will be limited if moisture is changed from snow
to rainfall and the timing of precipitation also changes.
Measurement and record keeping of bulk water withdrawals by major water suppliers and large
individual licensees has not been standardized and is patchy and inconsistent throughout the Okanagan,
which creates problems for coordinated water management. The Streamlined Water Use Reporting Tool
(SWURT) will assist water utilities in keeping an ongoing record of how much water is being used –
critical information for managing valley water supplies and preparing for the shortages expected with a
growing population and climate change.
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Water: Servicing
Greater Vernon Water Utility
The North Okanagan enjoys fairly good quality drinking water and relatively clean lakes and rivers.
Residents identify lakes and water resources as important parts of what they enjoy about life in the
North Okanagan. Residents consider their personal water conservation efforts to be good, suggesting
satisfaction but also room for improvement.
Greater Vernon Water Utility (GVWU) is a sub-regional water system that supplies and delivers water to
customers in the City of Vernon, the District of Coldstream, and Electoral Areas “B” and “C”. GVWU also
supplies and delivers water to customers in Electoral Area “D”, and bulk water to the Township of
Spallumcheen. GVWU holds 83 water licences and supplies water for domestic purposes via 5 surface
water intakes and one groundwater well. Duteau Creek provides the largest volume of water supply to
the GVWU service area. Kalamalka Lake intake is the second largest water supply, and two intakes on
Okanagan Lake service two small water systems, the Outback and Delcliffe. Goose Lake functions as an
open-balancing reservoir for the Duteau Creek distribution system. In the past, Goose Lake has been
used as a combined domestic and irrigation source. It is used to reduce pressure loss and meet peak
demand during the irrigation season.
GVWU services include:
(a) acquiring and constructing water supply and distribution facilities, including without limitation
reservoirs, wells, intakes, mains, pipes, pumps, ancillary water transmission lines, water reclamation
facilities and water treatment facilities;
(b) operating, maintaining, repairing and replacing water supply and distribution facilities;
(c) acquiring, improving and maintaining land, buildings, equipment, vehicles and other real and
personal property for water supply and distribution purposes;
(d) acquiring and holding water licences;
(e) planning for water supply and distribution needs within the service area;
(f) providing water in bulk to other local authorities for distribution to consumers;
(g) reclaiming water from waste treatment, agricultural, industrial and other facilities; and,
(h) carrying out any other function which involves water supply or distribution.
GVWU provides irrigation water to properties within the service area that have an agricultural water
allocation, which does not limit irrigation water access to active farming operations. Agricultural water
rates are only paid by those property owners who have received BC Assessment Authority (BCAA) Farm
Classification through an annual application process, based on a minimum gross farm income and a
minimum production area. This application process has recently been expanded to provide access to
farm classification for properties which are in the process of being established as farming operations.
For more specific information on this process, please see RDNO Agricultural Water Rate Application
process.
As of 2012, the majority of agricultural water demand is supplied by potable water. Some separation
work has occurred over the past four years to develop a non-potable water supply distribution system to
meet agricultural water demands, and this supply is sourced primarily from Duteau Creek and seasonally
from Goose Lake and King Edward Lake/ Deer Creek.
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Agricultural irrigation water in the areas of the RDNO outside of the GVWU Service Area is allocated by
surface or ground water licencing. Some agricultural irrigation water may be provided by the water
servicing arrangements based in the City of Armstrong, City of Enderby and the Village of Lumby, but
these tend to be small operations. All other regulation of water licences and groundwater access are
currently managed and administered by the province.
As discussed in the GVWU Master Water Plan (2012), consideration of the development of a fully or
partially separated irrigation water system throughout the GVWU Service Area has been explored and
the detailed analysis is included as part of the GVWU Master Water Plan. While the argument for a
separated or partially separated irrigation water provision system does support a reduction in the need
to treat water to be used for irrigation purposes only, it will require a significant infrastructure
investment to provide a second delivery system throughout the area. Similarly, the use and availability
of reclaimed water for irrigation use is a complex discussion that is ongoing, but is currently limited to
the City of Vernon’s Sustainable Infrastructure Investment Plan and Liquid Waste Management Plan.
Reclaimed water is the by-product of the tertiary water treatment process at the Vernon Water
Reclamation Centre. The reclaimed water program has provided reclaimed water to a limited number of
lands designated for agricultural use and to golf courses throughout Vernon. This program has the
potential to provide this water source for irrigation use, but would require modification to provincial
regulation and dedicated funding to permit the expansion of the infrastructure required to make this
service a viable option.
Township of Spallumcheen and City of Armstrong Water Service Areas
The lands within the Township of Spallumcheen contain a variety of agricultural, industrial and
residential land uses which are serviced by numerous independent community water systems operating
within the Township. There are 18 Water Districts in Spallumcheen, seven of which rely on the City of
Armstrong for water supply. The primarily agricultural water districts are Eagle Rock and Larkin, both of
which rely on groundwater as the water source. These Water Districts have operated independently for
many years. The Township currently administers four service areas. These Water Districts were
dissolved and have become specified Local Service Areas:
• Pleasant Valley
• Hankey
• Round Prairie
• Stepping Stones
The City of Armstrong also has a domestic water supply, which provides water to seven of the
independent systems. Since 2011, the City of Armstrong, the City of Enderby, and the Village of Lumby
have begun water metering programs. Agricultural customers in these areas are also starting to install
water meters.
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Soils and Geography
A full description of soils and agricultural capability, including maps and a description of soil types, is
provided in the Appendix. The North Okanagan is made up of a series of fertile valleys, including the
Spallumcheen Valley, Coldstream Valley, and Shuswap River Valley. The soils found in the area now were
formed during the Pleistocene, when ice covering an area below 7,500 feet elevation began to melt.
When the ice retreated most of the valleys were filled by rivers. The soils in valley bottom between
Kalamalka Lake and Enderby were formed by glacio-lacustrine clay deposits. During the Pleistocene, a
large river delta was formed in the area that is now Grandview Flats, leaving sandy deposits. Several
post-glacial alluvial deposits were likewise formed in the fans of stream valleys, including that of the
Spallumcheen Valley along the Shuswap River. There are also some ponds and seepage depressions that
have become filled by organic (peat) deposits.
Soils in the North Okanagan can be broadly described in two categories: those that developed under
grass, and those that developed under forests. Grassland soils have a deeper layer of organic matter at
the surface and are mainly Dark Brown and Black soils. The forested soils are Brown Wooded, Gray
Wooded, Brown Podzolic, and Podzol soils. Over 140 soil series have been mapped in the Okanagan and
Similkameen Valleys. Gough et al. (1994) and Sprout and Kelley (1960) both provide detailed
descriptions of these soils and indicate agricultural management techniques for them.
Agricultural Capability
The agricultural capability rating in the RDNO depends on the sub-area. Most of the area around
Spallumcheen, Vernon, and Coldstream is prime (Classes 1 – 3) so long as irrigation water is available
(Talisman Projects Inc., 1978). However, there are some areas where the soil class dips to Classes 4 and
5, around Lumby, Mabel Lake, and Cherryville with the main limitations being stoniness and steep
slopes. It is important to note that these areas remain suitable for rangelands and grazing, despite
having limitations on soil-based crop opportunities. Furthermore, neither topography nor stones are
considered serious limitations for tree fruit or grape production. Much of the Class 5 and 6 areas of the
ALR remain forested.
In addition to topography challenges in some areas, the main soil capability limitations for agriculture
throughout the RDNO region are lack of soil moisture and risk of seasonal flooding from streams and
rivers. Suggested improvements generally refer to irrigation, removal of surface stones, and installation
of drainage where necessary. The more clayey soils of the Armstrong and Spallumcheen area may allow
for more productive growing without much irrigation, whereas the soils of the Coldstream-Lumby area
require significant amounts of irrigation to remain productive.
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Weather and Climatic Capability for Agriculture
Within the North Okanagan air masses move from west to east, with the amount of precipitation
dependent upon both exposure and elevation. Lower parts of the valleys tend to be drier than hillslopes
and mountainous areas. The spring and summer growing seasons are characterized by high-pressure
systems that bring hot dry weather to the valleys, often with thunder storms.
Climate normal for the Vernon-Coldstream Ranch, Lumby, and Armstrong Environment Canada weather
stations point to a region with hot dry summers, cold winters, and wet springs. Some highlights are
presented here:
Table 1. Weather characteristics in the RDNO (Environment Canada, 2014).
Armstrong
Lumby
373.0
559.9
VernonColdstream Ranch
657.8
119°08'00.000" W
118°46'00.000" W
119°12'00.000" W
50°28'00.000" N
50°22'00.000" N
50°13'00.000" N
Days per year with minimum
o
temperatures < than 0 C
Days per year with maximum
o
temperatures > than 20 C
Days per year with maximum
o
temperatures > than 0 C
Days per year of rain
165.7
169.3
147.4
112.1
98.7
107.1
314.7
311.7
313.9
76.5
112
105.6
Days per year of snow
30.1
42.6
35.5
935.9
N/A
998.8
1854.3
N/A
1935.0
Station Elevation (m)
Longitude
Latitude
o
Degree days greater than 10 C
o
Degree days greater than 5 C
Growing Degree Days
Growing degree days (GDD) are a weather-based indicator for assessing crop development. It is a
measure of heat accumulation used to predict plant and pest development rates such as the date that a
crop reaches maturity. Daily GDD values are added together from the beginning of the season, providing
an indication of the energy available for plant growth. Growing degrees (GDs) are defined as the mean
daily temperature (average of daily maximum and minimum temperatures) above a certain threshold
base temperature accumulated on a daily basis over a period of time. GDD units can be used to assess
the suitability of a region for production of a particular crop; estimate the growth-stages of crops, weeds
or the life stages of insects; predict maturity and cutting dates of forage crops; estimate the heat stress
on crops; plan spacing of planting dates to produce separate harvest dates.
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The following GDDs are calculated using the Vernon-Coldstream Ranch and Armstrong weather data and
a base temperature of 10oC. The equation for each month is {(Max. Temp + Min. Temp)/2 – 10} x
#days/month.
Table 2. Growing Degree Days (GDDs) for the Vernon-Coldstream Ranch and Armstrong areas (Environment
Canada, 2014).
Armstrong
January
0
VernonColdstream Ranch
0
February
0
0
March
0
0
April
0
0
May
71.3
85.3
June
183.0
190.5
July
August
268.2
262.0
282.1
271.3
September
97.5
111.0
October
0
0
November
0
0
December
0
0
881.9
940.1
TOTAL
These GDDs could easily be increased by using polyhouse and other minimal greenhouse technologies,
thereby increasing the potential variety of crops produced in the area. Furthermore, climate modeling
suggests a substantial increase in GDDs in the coming decades.
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Invasive Species
Invasive species, primarily plants, have known impacts to the agriculture and livestock industry. Loss of
native grasslands and forest plants to the spread of invasive plants has lead to the loss of forage for both
livestock and wildlife. Many invasive species also pose health threats to livestock and wildlife due to
toxins or burrs causing physical injury. The RDNO manages a Noxious Weeds program that aims to
prevent the introduction of new species of noxious weeks and invasive plants and to reduce the spread
of existing noxious weed infestations. The RDNO assists in the coordination of control efforts of agencies
and individuals and provides advice to
residents.
Some of the weeds that are invasive in
North Okanagan include:
• Garlic mustard
• Knotweeds
• Puncturevine
• Common bugloss
• Knapweeds
• Hound’s tongue
• Scotch thistle
• Rush skeletonweed
• Leafy spurge
• Hoary alyssum
• Common tansy
• Sulphur cinquefoil
• Hoary cress
• Purple loosestrife
• Yellow flag iris
the
Figure 8. North Okanagan noxious weeds (RDNO,
2013).
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Climate Change
Farmers are accustomed to the weather influencing their activities and weather-dependent decisions
are a part of farming life. Adapting to climate change, however, involves a more systematic assessment
and response. Agriculture is highly vulnerable to changes in climatic conditions and even small shifts
could have significant consequences for farm viability and food production. Despite the challenges of
applying broad climate models, some general projections are anticipated in BC between now and 2050.
Additional secondary effects may include a range of conditions described in Table 6.
Table 3. Potential agricultural impacts of climate change.
Climate Change Condition
Potential Agricultural Impacts
Changing hydrological
regime, decrease in
summer precipitation
Decrease in productivity and quality of crops and livestock under water stress,
increased costs, reduction in water supply (at times of high demand), increase
in management complexity
Increasing precipitation and
variability of precipitation
(especially in spring & fall)
Interruptions to planting, input applications and harvesting, increase in
excessive moisture and site-specific flood risk, increase in pressure on
drainage and water management, interruptions to pollination, decrease in
light levels, increase in nutrient and input leaching, increase in management
complexity
Changing crop suitability
ranges
Inconsistent productivity, quality & therefore prices; increase in suitability for
new varieties of forage and field vegetable crops, increase in suitability of new
crops
Changes in pests and
diseases
Increase in winter survival rates, increase in number of cycles in a year,
introduction of new pests and diseases, increase in management costs,
complexity, uncertainty, increase in delays or prevention of pollination
Increase in extreme
weather events (storms,
wind, extreme heat)
Decrease in productivity and quality, increase in building maintenance and
damage costs, decrease in heating costs, increase in cooling and ventilation
costs, interruptions to regional infrastructure and supply lines
Climate change impacts to
other growing regions
Increase in feed or other input costs, increase in demand for food
production/local food
Although there is general consensus regarding the impacts of climate change, how these might impact
specific microclimates is uncertain - yet critical for agricultural producers concerned with the effects of
climate change and precipitation within their specific locale. Modelling suggests that climate change in
the RDNO will bring about an increase in GDDs, a decrease in spring snowfall, a decrease in summer
rains, and an increase in frost-free days.
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Page 49 of 157
www.plan2adapt.ca
Annual
Frost-free days
+8 to +22 days
Accessed
+14 days
+178 degree
days
+85 to +286 degree
days
Annual
-32%
-57% to +1%
Spring
-7%
+3%
-18% to +1%
-2% to +10%
-5%
+4%
o
+1.0 C
Median
Winter
Growing Degree Days
Snowfall
-10% to +9%
Summer
Winter
-1% to +7%
Annual
Precipitation
o
+0.6 C to +1.5 C
o
Annual
Mean Temperature
Range
Season
Characteristic
2020 change from 1961-1990
baseline
Table 4. Climate Projections for the RDNO in the 2020s, 2050s, and 2080s (PCICS, 2014).
Regional District of North Okanagan Agricultural Plan Background Report
o
+14 to +37 days
+205 to +531
degree days
-77% to -11%
-27% to -2%
-3% to +16%
-21% to -1%
-2% to +11%
o
+1.1 C to +2.7 C
Range
July
+24 days
+359 degree
days
-57%
-15%
+7%
-10%
+6%
o
+1.9 C
Median
2050 change from 1961-1990
baseline
o
+20 to +62 days
+309 to +975
degree days
-90% to -13%
-47% to -10%
+2% to +27%
-28% to +7%
+3% to +14%
o
+1.7 C to +4.6 C
Range
+37 days
+549 degree
days
-76%
-23%
+12%
-11%
+7%
o
+2.8 C
Median
2080 change from 1961-1990
baseline
34
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Agricultural Profile
Communities in the RDNO have a long history of producing a wide range of products including dairy
cattle, poultry, pigs, vegetable crops, strawberries, cheese, apples, and wine grapes, among many
others. The City of Armstrong is home to the oldest Farmers’ Market in BC and the Interior Provincial
Exhibition (IPE), the second biggest agricultural fair in the province. Community groups have established
community gardens and food sharing programs and the North Okanagan Food Action Society provides a
forum to discuss and take action on creating resilient regional food systems. The RDNO also has many
new farmers and food entrepreneurs looking for and creating agricultural business opportunities. Local
grocery chains, major grocery chains, farmers markets, and roadside stands provide key marketing
points for local producers.
A profile of agriculture in the RDNO has been developed to provide a snapshot of agricultural production
in the region and examine issues such as farm profitability, diversity of agricultural commodities and the
area of land under production. Agriculture in the entire study region (RDNO) has been examined as well
as the individual Consolidated Census Areas (CCSs) comprising municipalities and electoral areas.
Note: This profile was developed using information from the Agricultural Census data for years 2001 to
2011, and results from the 2014 Agricultural Land Use Inventory (ALUI). This information is expected to
be indicative of the actual farming practices in the RDNO, however it is not expected to be exact.
Statistics Canada notes that there have been significant refinements in the geographic assignment of
agricultural operations and changes in Census Consolidated Subdivision boundaries between 2011 and
2006 making Census Consolidated Subdivisions for these two censuses not comparable. Concurrent to
the development of this Agricultural Plan, the BC Ministry of Agriculture conducted an Agricultural Land
Use Inventory (ALUI) for the region. The ALUI provides detailed parcel-by-parcel information about land
cover, land use, and irrigation practices when observed. The ALUI results can serve as an additional
“snapshot” of agriculture in the region and the results were cross-referenced with the census and survey
analyses. The ALUI tends to examine a subset of total ALR properties as well as active farms outside the
ALR.
The LUI considered a property “Farmed” if:
• Cultivated field crops: vegetation under cultivation for harvest or pasture including land
temporarily set aside from farming and perennial crops that were not harvested or grazed in the
current growing season
• Farm infrastructure: built structures associated with farming such as barns, stables, corrals,
riding rings, and their associated yards
• Greenhouses: permanent enclosed glass or poly structures with or without climate control
facilities for growing plants and vegetation under controlled environments
• Crop barns: permanent enclosed structures with non-translucent walls for growing crops such as
mushrooms or bean sprouts
Statistics Canada identifies the RDNO by combining the electoral areas and municipalities within the
Census Agricultural Region 3-Thompson-Okanagan and Census Division 37-North Okanagan. The census
division is further broken down into subsequent Census Consolidated Subdivisions (CCS) as follows:
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Table 5. Statistics Canada delineation of RDNO.
Statistics Canada
Census Consolidated
Subdivision
17 – North Okanagan B
22 – North Okanagan D
23 – North Okanagan E
24 – Spallumcheen
11 – North Okanagan F
RDNO Area
City of Vernon, District of Coldstream Electoral Areas B and C
Village of Lumby, Electoral Area D
Electoral Area E
Township of Spallumcheen and City of Armstrong
City of Enderby and Electoral Area F
The latest available data from Statistics Canada was the 2011 Census of Agriculture. The focus of this
agricultural profile is on data gathered between 1996 and 2011. Some of the tables contain an ‘x’ to
indicate disclosure control because Statistics Canada is prohibited from releasing data that could divulge
information relating to any identifiable person, business or organization without consent. The use of the
‘x’ is applied to eliminate the potential for identification.
Amount of Farmland and Farm Numbers
The total ALR in the RDNO is approximately 65,000 ha with close to 70% located within Electoral Areas
“D” and “F” and the Township of Spallumcheen.
Table 6. Distribution of ALR (Food System Plan, 2007)
RDNO Jurisdiction
Electoral Area “D”
Electoral Area “F”
Township of Spallumcheen
Electoral Area “B”
Electoral Area “E”
District of Coldstream
City of Vernon
Electoral Area “C”
City of Armstrong
City of Enderby
Village of Lumby
Total
Area of ALR (hectares)
17,324
14,163
14,103
8,590
7,486
3,685
2,414
1,671
156
65
45
69,702
% of ALR
24.9%
20.3%
20.2%
12.3%
10.7%
5.3%
3.5%
2.4%
0.2%
0.1%
0.1%
100%
NOTE: these numbers need to be updated to reflect the more recent ALR boundary realignments.
The total number of farms has decreased over time from 1,227 in 2006 to 1,167 in 2011, but the farms
are generally getting larger in size. Average farm size climbed from 62.4 ha in 2006 to 72.3 ha in 2011.
The majority of farms are less than 69 acres in size (809 in 2011 – 69%).
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Table 7. Total Number of Farms (Statistics Canada)
1,227
1,187
1,175
1996
2001
1,167
2006
2011
Land tenure can be an indication of farm stability. Those leasing land are more instable than those who
own their land with regard to investments in infrastructure. In the North Okanagan, 45.5% of the land is
owned, while 54.5% of the land is either leased from governments, rented or leased from others or
crop-shared from others.
Table 8. Land Tenure Agreements in Hectares (Statistics Canada, 2011)
Owned
RDNO
Vernon, Coldstream,
and Electoral Area B
Lumby and Electoral
Area D
Electoral Area E
Spallumcheen and
Armstrong
Enderby and Electoral
Area F
39,295
8,260
Leased from
Govts
32,234
14,888
Rented or leased
from others
13,544
1,660
Crop-shared
from others
1,322
97
10,575
10,732
3,857
597
1,999
10,380
3,290
1,963
x
5,951
x
268
8,080
1,361
x
x
Table 11 shows the breakdown of land use in the RDNO from the ALUI report data. Note that the total
amount of ALR land surveyed was 29,900 ha, which is a subset of the total 65,000 ha of ALR in the
region.
Table 9. Land Cover in the ALR in RDNO (ALUI, 2014)
Ha
% of ALR
surveyed
Total ALR
65,000
ALR surveyed
29,900
100
Actively farmed
12,014
40
Vegetated (natural and semi-natural)
17,017
57
857
3
Anthropogenic (not farmed)
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Crop Production
The distribution of crops hasn’t changed much since 1996 according to Statistics Canada, except for the
number of nursery operations and the associated hectares. The number of nursery operations has
decreased by more than 50%, but the number of hectares has increased nearly three times the amount.
Table 10. Crop Production Over Time (Statistics Canada)
Crops
1996
1996
2001
2001
2006
2006
2011
2011
Farms
Ha
Farms
Ha
Farms
Ha
Farms
Ha
Hay Crops
N/A
11,581
N/A
14,111
N/A
14,888
N/A
14,928
Field Crops
N/A
554
N/A
5,375
N/A
4,899
N/A
5,172
Fruits/Berries/Nuts
N/A
N/A
158
N/A
163
410
150
482
Vegetables
N/A
224
120
202
98
295
96
174
N/A
71
41
68
38
106
31
150
N/A
23,409
N/A
23,776
N/A
19,095
N/A
26,543
Nursery
2
Greenhouse (m )
The majority of field crops are alfalfa and alfalfa mixtures and tame hay (hay from cultivated grasses).
Production of barley is also high compared with other field crops. Wheat, oats, mixed grains and
potatoes has decreased in production over time, indicating that there is room for growth in these crop
types, as long as the infrastructure for processing and storage is available.
Table 11. Field Crop Production from 1996 to 2011 in Hectares (Statistics Canada)
Crop
2001
2006
2011
Total area wheat
1,041
650
747
x
x
414
Winter wheat
721
273
332
Oats
447
274
395
1,801
1,550
1,178
Mixed grains
141
323
161
Total area rye
85
165
107
Corn for silage
1,527
x
x
Alfalfa and alfalfa mixtures
10,240
10,460
11,243
All other tame hay
3,871
4,428
3,685
Potatoes
64
45
30
Triticale
x
x
53
All other field crops
89
x
123
Spring wheat (excluding durum)
Barley
38
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Fruit production has fluctuated over the years, with some dramatic increases in sweet cherries, peaches,
and grapes. Production of pears and apricots has decreased somewhat, but the overall increase in
production of fruit indicates that there is growth potential in this area as well.
Table 12. Fruit Production From 2001-2011 in Hectares (Statistics Canada)
Crop
2001
2006
2011
Apples
366
322
358
Pears
6
5
3
Plums and prunes
6
5
6
Sweet cherries
13
20
23
Sour cherries
x
1
1
Peaches
6
7
11
Apricots
4
3
2
Strawberries
15
9
10
Raspberries
6
5
8
Blueberries
3
x
4
Grapes
14
14
30
Saskatoons
2
2
4
Other berries
17
30
22
Overall, vegetable production in the RDNO has decreased over time. Production in certain products such
as beets and asparagus has increased since 2001, but production in other crops has mainly decreased.
Table 13. Vegetable Production from 2001-2011 in Hectares (Statistics Canada)
Crop
2001
2006
2011
Sweet corn
Tomatoes
Cucumbers and gherkins
Green peas
Green or wax beans
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Broccoli
Carrots
Rutabagas (turnips)
46
8
5
15
2
3
3
2
10
3
53
10
5
2
3
17
2
3
7
x
44
8
4
1
2
1
1
3
9
1
Beets
Radishes
Dry onions
Lettuces
Spinach
Peppers
Squash, pumpkins and zucchini
Asparagus
Total area of other vegetables
3
x
2
3
4
4
25
22
40
3
1
2
3
3
4
20
21
32
8
2
3
2
2
3
10
33
21
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The 2014 ALUI provides a more nuanced set of results regarding total area being farmed for crops both within and
outside the ALR.
Table 14. ALUI results for crop types in farms surveyed (2014).
Crop Type
Area
In ALR
Forage (managed)
Forage & pasture (managed)
Forage
Forage (unmanaged)
Pasture (unmanaged)
Wheat
Unmaintained forage/pasture
Unused forage/pasture
Pasture (managed)
Canola
Oats
Barley
Pasture
Crop transition
Forage (intensively managed)
Fallow land
Mixed vegetables
Christmas trees
Ornamentals and shrubs
Grapes
Forestry stock
Blueberries
Misc. vegetables
Nursery
Christmas trees (Unmaintained)
Trees (plantation)
(Unmaintained)
Wheat (Unmaintained)
Potatoes
Cucurbits
Pumpkins
Cultivated land
Sweet corn
TOTAL
Total Area
% of
Cultivated
Land
Number of
parcels where
crop occurs
Outside
ALR
3,386
2,502
1,591
1,512
818
554
305
263
278
125
96
92
31
31
20
20
19
18
17
10
13
7
6
5
5
3
88
240
40
54
99
45
40
58
31
<1
<1
<1
3
<1
<1
<1
<1
<1
<1
4
<1
<1
<1
<1
2
3,474
2,743
1,631
1,565
916
599
345
321
308
125
97
92
34
31
20
20
19
18
17
13
13
8
6
5
5
5
28%
22%
13%
13%
7%
5%
3%
3%
2%
1%
< 1%
< 1%
< 1%
< 1%
< 1%
< 1%
< 1%
< 1%
< 1%
< 1%
< 1%
< 1%
< 1%
< 1%
< 1%
< 1%
374
271
152
191
253
83
60
70
108
12
23
9
12
3
3
5
12
4
7
4
2
3
4
2
5
3
3
3
3
3
1
<1
11,744
<1
<1
<1
<1
<1
706
3
3
3
3
1
<1
12,451
< 1%
< 1%
< 1%
< 1%
< 1%
< 1%
100%
1
2
1
2
2
3
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Livestock Production
Livestock production has remained relatively stable over time, with a few exceptions. Pig production has
dramatically decreased since 1996, likely due to the cost of feed and increase in production costs. This
decrease in the hog industry is consistent across BC. The number of poultry operations has increased
slightly since 1996, as has the number of animals. The number of goats has increased by approximately
three-fold. One possible explanation is the increase in goat dairy operations in the region.
Table 15. Livestock Production from 1996-2011 (Statistics Canada)
Poultry
1996
1996
2001
2001
2006
2006
2011
2011
Farms
Farms
315
# of
Animals
1,109,592
Farms
379
# of
Animals
1,139,067
Farms
359
# of
Animals
871,244
300
# of
Animals
1,160,505
-
Hens/Chickens
233
869,206
267
1,136,694
246
1,108,689
245
1,159,577
-
Turkeys
32
550
45
1,138
29
903
18
x
-
Other Poultry
94
1,488
67
1,235
40
x
37
928
538
33,842
491
36,772
479
39,633
355
33,583
Cattle and Calves
-
Beef
330
8,934
333
11,047
313
10,766
196
7,660
-
Milk
106
4,595
74
4,917
68
5,538
63
6,497
Pigs
47
8,495
45
4,186
43
3,726
22
141
Sheep and Lambs
72
2,451
93
6,950
79
5,210
75
2,680
Horses and Ponies
401
2,713
429
2,968
444
3,426
378
2,874
Goats
70
527
57
1,134
56
1,144
47
1,414
Rabbits
46
1,109
12
767
N/A
N/A
16
528
Llamas and Alpacas
19
493
37
719
40
449
37
298
Bison
2
x
3
x
9
111
6
x
Bee Colonies
39
1,832
32
2,841
32
2,695
26
1,738
The livestock results from the ALUI are similar to the results from the number of livestock farms column
in the 2011 Statistics Canada results.
The poultry farm numbers differ widely because the ALUI only included the intensive poultry operations
or observable small scale operations in their survey results.
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Table 16. Livestock operations in the RDNO based on the ALUI (2014).
Livestock group
Livestock detail *
Beef
Beef
11
133
3
2
5
Beef (Llama)
1
-
1
Beef (Goat)
1
-
1
127
13
140
77
5
82
5
-
5
87
Dairy (Beef)
Dairy total
82
5
Poultry
2
-
2
Chicken
32
26
58
Chicken (Turkey)
-
2
2
Chicken (Duck)
1
1
2
Turkey (Chicken)
1
-
1
Chicken (Other livestock)
-
1
1
Duck
-
1
1
Duck (Chicken)
-
1
1
Goose (Duck)
-
1
1
Goose
-
2
2
36
3
35
8
71
11
36
Poultry total
Swine total
Swine
Sheep / lamb
Sheep / lamb / goat
23
13
Sheep / lamb (Goat)
2
1
3
Sheep / lamb (Llama)
-
2
2
Sheep / lamb (Alpaca)
1
-
1
Goat
6
7
13
Goat (Sheep / lamb)
2
-
2
Sheep / lamb / goat total
Llama / alpaca
34
23
57
Llama
9
1
10
Alpaca
4
1
5
15
Llama / alpaca total
Specialty livestock
13
2
Deer, fallow
1
1
2
Game bird
2
-
2
Bison
Specialty livestock total
Horse
Equine
Total
activities
Secondary
type
122
Beef total
Poultry
Main
type
Beef (Dairy)
Dairy
Dairy
By parcel
1
3
4
4
4
8
194
24
218
Draft horse
1
-
1
Pony
1
-
1
Miniature horse
-
2
2
Donkey, ass
1
3
4
Mixed equine
15
3
18
Unidentified
35
5
40
247
546
37
127
284
673
Equine total
TOTAL
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Farm Practices
The data reported by Statistics Canada indicates that farms in the RDNO tend to use sustainable
production practices. Despite the increase in in total area of farms from 58,571 ha in 1996 to 84,339 ha
in 2011, the amount of irrigated hectares only increased by 240 ha. Fertilizer, herbicide, fungicide and
lime use decreased from 2001 to 2011 with a small increase in insecticide use. The number of farms
using insecticides decreased since 2001, so the increase in insecticide use was likely due to an increase
in hectares in production per farm.
Table 17. Farm Practices in Hectares of Production (Statistics Canada)
1996
Farm Practice
Irrigated
Commercial fertilizer
2001
2006
Ha
8,720
N/A
Farms
N/A
N/A
Ha
8,542
11,648
Farms
503
433
Herbicides
N/A
N/A
5,225
Insecticides
N/A
N/A
Fungicides
N/A
Lime
2011
Farms
561
386
Ha
8,960
8,882
Farms
550
356
304
Ha
9,678
10,05
6
5,007
264
4,955
250
551
109
852
107
786
94
N/A
810
104
583
79
428
64
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
263
34
193
26
Manure - liquid spreader (on surface)
N/A
N/A
1,572
64
1,125
44
1,263
41
Manure - liquid spreader (injected)
N/A
N/A
172
4
1,119
45
1,588
59
Farm Valuation
Overall, North Okanagan farms have gotten more profitable over the years. The gross margin has risen
from 5% in 2001 to 11% in 2011, meaning that for every dollar of sales, the farmer earns eleven cents of
profit. The BC gross margin average is 11.3%, so the RDNO falls in the average range for profitability. As
expected, gross farm receipts have risen since 2001, but so have operating expenses. Area “E” farms
have the lowest gross margin (-42%) and Enderby and Area “F” farms have the highest gross margin at
15%.
Table 18. Farm Profitability from 2001-2011 (Statistics Canada)
Area
Gross Farm Receipts
(millions $)
2001
2006
2011
Total Operating Expenses
(millions $)
2001
2006
2011
Gross Margin (%)
2001
2006
2011
RDNO
84.0
111.4
126.2
79.6
102.2
112.8
5%
8%
11%
Vernon, Coldstream,
Electoral Areas B & C
Lumby and Electoral Area D
N/A
17.1
21.4
N/A
17.7
21.0
N/A
-4%
2%
N/A
9.2
9.1
N/A
8.9
8.5
N/A
3%
6%
Electoral Area E
N/A
1.0
0.61
N/A
1.2
0.86
N/A
-12%
-42%
Spallumcheen and
Armstrong
Enderby and Electoral Area F
N/A
57.0
58.7
N/A
52.5
51.5
N/A
8%
12%
N/A
27.1
36.3
N/A
22.0
31.0
N/A
19%
15%
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The revenue per hectare of farms in the North Okanagan has also increased since 1996 from $1,343 to
$1,496 (10%). However, when adjusted for inflation9, the numbers look different. In 2011, the $1,495
earned per ha equates to just $1,109 in 1996 dollars. This means that farmers have lost 17% over the
last 15 years on a per hectare basis when adjusted for inflation.
Table 19. Revenue per Hectare from 1996-2011 (Statistics Canada)
Year
# of Farms
Gross
Receipts ($)
Average per
Farm ($)
Total Farm Area
(Hectares)
Average per
Hectare ($)
1996
1,187
78,659,559
$66,268
58,571
$1,342.98
2001
1,175
83,993,442
$71,484
72,606
$1,156.84
2006
1,227
111,383,177
$90,777
76,624
$1,453.63
2011
1,167
126,150,927
$108,098
84,339
$1,495.76
Perhaps not surprisingly then, 53.6% of farms were earning less than $10,000 in gross farm receipts and
only 19% are making more than $50,000 per year.
Number of Farms
Table 20. Gross Farm Receipts (Statistics Canada, 2011)
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
-
626
203
112
63
56
45
34
20
8
As is expected with the rise in housing prices, the value of farms has increased since 2001. Most of the
farms in the RDNO fall within the $500,000 to $999,000 valuation range.
9
Bank of Canada – consumer price index data inflation calculator www.bankofcanada.ca/rates/related/inflationcalculator/
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Table 21. Number of farms and farm value from 2001-2011 (Statistics Canada)
2001
2006
2011
20
12
7
$100,000-$199,999
115
43
15
$200,000-$349,999
356
147
82
$350,000-$499,999
225
191
126
$500,000-$999,999
283
464
485
$1,000,000-$1,499,999
77
160
181
$1,500,000-$1,999,999
38
74
86
$2,000,000-$3,499,999
47
91
104
$3,500,000 and over
14
45
81
Under $100,000
Operator Profile
Table 25 shows the distribution of farm operators over various areas in the RDNO for 2011. The average
age of operators is 57.4 and varies somewhat over the different areas. Coldstream, Vernon, Lavington,
and Electoral Areas “C” and “D”, have a slightly higher average age, while Cherryville and Electoral Area
E has a lower average age.
Table 22. Farm Operator Profile for the RDNO (Statistics Canada, 2011)
RDNO
Population
Number of farms
Number of operators
Avg age of operators
81,237
1,167
1,770
57.4
Vernon,
Coldstream,
Electoral
Areas B & C
58,584
350 (30%)
520 (29%)
58.0
Lumby
and
Electoral
Area D
4,579
188 (16%)
285 (16%)
56.3
Electoral
Area E
Spallumcheen
and
Armstrong
939
43 (4%)
65 (4%)
55.8
9,875
373 (32%)
560 (32%)
57.3
Enderby
and
Electoral
Area F
7,260
213 (18%)
335 (19%)
57.6
The average age of operators has increased since from 52 years old in 2001 to 57 years old in 2011. The
age of farm operators is consistent with few young farmers choosing farming as a career. Less than 10%
of the farmers in the RDNO are under the age of 35, which is consistent with the overall percentage in
BC, but lower than the Lower Mainland and Canada. The number of operators over the age of 55 has
increased in the region to nearly 60%, which is higher than the BC average.
Table 23. Age of Farm Operators in RDNO from 2001-2011 (Statistics Canada)
2001
2006
2011
Total Number
1,715 (100%)
1,840 (100%)
1,770 (100%)
Under 35
100 (6%)
70 (4%)
70 (4%)
35 to 54 years
900 (52%)
850 (46%)
690 (39%)
55 years and over
725 (42%)
910 (49%)
1,020 (58%)
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Table 24. Age of Farm Operators Across Canada (Statistics Canada, 2011)
RDNO
%
%
Canada
%
4%
British
Columbia
1,620
Under 35 years
70
5%
24,120
8%
35 to 54 years
690
39%
12,110
40%
127,895
44%
55 years and over
1,020
58%
16,195
54%
141,920
48%
Total number of
operators
1,770
100%
29,925
100%
293,925
100%
Farm operators spent less time working on the farm in 2011 than they did in 2001. The number of farm
operators working more than 40 hours per week dropped from 495 to 210, while the number working
less than 20 increased from 650 to 790. It appears that more farmers are working 20 to 40 hours per
week on the farm, likely due to the need for off-farm work to support their income.
Table 25. Hours Spent per Week Working for the Farm (Number of Operators) (Statistics Canada)
2001
2006
2011
Less than 20
650
765
790
20 to 40
575
555
705
More than 40
495
515
210
Figure 9. Sheep on a North Okanagan sheep farm.
46
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Agricultural Infrastructure
Generally, the North Okanagan has a significant level of infrastructure and support services for the
agriculture industry. Agricultural enterprises and sophisticated and dynamic and rely on infrastructure to
succeed. Feedback from the Producer and Public Surveys will provide clarification regarding agricultural
infrastructure issues and opportunities. Below is a brief summary of the supporting agricultural
infrastructure, with the exception of irrigation water which is dealt with earlier in this report. Many of
these issues are explored in greater detail within the Market Opportunities Analysis.
Transportation
The agricultural sector in the North Okanagan relies on regional transportation linkages for accessing
local, provincial, national and international markets. The North Okanagan is serviced by the following
transportation infrastructure:
Highways and roads – the main Provincial highways through the RDNO are: Highway 97, which runs
through the centre of the most populated area of the North Okanagan; and Highway 6 which connects
Highway 97 to the Kootenays. There are many paved arterial roads servicing within the lower elevation
areas of the North Okanagan.
Airport – the nearest airport is the City of Vernon Airport, which is oriented to mall personal and
commuter aircraft. Kelowna International Airport is the nearest major airport with international service,
which is approximately 30 minutes away from Vernon.
Rail: The Okanagan Subdivision, which connects the Village of Lumby with the Class 1 mainline in
Kamloops, is operated by Canadian National Rail and is the last rail connection in the Okanagan.
Agricultural Input and Service Suppliers
There are a wide range of businesses in the North Okanagan that provide goods and services to farms.
Some of these services, like equipment dealers, Okanagan Fertilizer and SureCrop Feeds, are based in
the region but provide services to customers throughout the Interior of BC. As well, the region includes
orchard equipment suppliers, limited cold storage warehousing and a cattle auction house. Livestock
feed, seed, fertilizer and related products are available, as are custom seed/fertilizer application
services. There are a number of general parts supply companies and repair shops that provide services
to the agricultural sector. The livestock sector is generally well serviced by veterinarians located
throughout the region.
Manufacturing and Processing
Local food manufacturing and processing, with some exceptions, is a small-scale sector with a focus on
bakeries and small‐scale food processors (e.g. honey, fruit, vegetable, custom meat and dairy products).
There has been a recent increase in small-scale artisan cheese production, cideries, meaderies and
distilleries, including:
• Okanagan Spirits;
• Bella Stella Cheese; and,
• BX Press Cidery;
• Triple Island Cheeses.
• Planet Bee (Mead);
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Fieldstone Granary, which has recently expanding their processing operation, specializes in ancient
grains and has over 400 acres in production. Rogers’ Foods, Okanagan Springs Brewery and other larger
scale agricultural processing facilities are based in the North Okanagan but do not necessarily rely on
local agricultural products. These large-scale processors service national and/or international markets.
Many previous agricultural processors, including Armstrong Cheese and Silverhills Bakery, have
relocated to the Lower Mainland/Fraser Valley to facilitate operational expansion. Most of the dairy
producers in the RDNO rely on shipping their raw milk long distances to processing facilities located
outside the greater region.
The changes to the Meat Inspection Regulations (MIR) in 2004 have limited the slaughter options
available to small-scale producers. After the introduction of the MIR, the majority of North Okanagan
custom slaughter facilities ceased operations. Class A licences permit both slaughter and meat
processing such as cutting, wrapping, deboning, grinding or sausage making.
The following Class A Licence holders are within the North Okanagan and adjacent areas:
• Kam Lake View Meats (Cows/Cattle), Kamloops, BC
• Kelowna Free Graze Lamb (Sheep/Goats), Kelowna, BC
• Lambert Creek Organic Meats Ltd (Cows/Cattle), Grindrod, BC
• North Okanagan Poultry Processing Inc (Poultry), Armstrong, BC
• Riverside Natural Meats Ltd (Cows/Cattle, Sheep/Goats, Bison/Buffalo, Emu/Ostrich, Deer, Elk),
Salmon Arm, BC
• Silvernails Abattoir (Poultry), Falkland, BC
• Valley Wide Meats (Cows/Cattle), Enderby, BC
Class B licences permit slaughter only. The following Class B Licences have been issued in the North
Okanagan and surrounding area:
• Longhorn Farms Abattoir (Cows/Cattle), Kelowna, BC
• Okanagan Poultry Processing (Poultry), Kelowna, BC
• Pluck'n Maniacs Poultry (Poultry), Kamloops, BC
At present, there are five Class E licenses in the RDNO. There are also a number of small custom butcher
shops who process (cut and wrap) meat for producers who have slaughtered their own animal. These
operations do not require a license.
Local Marketing and Distribution
Wholesale/Retail Markets
Currently, there are many small-scale retail outlets in the North Okanagan that offer local and BC grown
products. Many of these operations are tourist attractions (Davidson Country Orchard, Swan Lake
Nursery, Armstrong Cheese). Quality Greens Farm Market, which has an outlet in Vernon, was one of
the first retailers to promote local produce and agricultural products. There are also a small number of
local restaurants and caterers that feature and promote locally grown farm products, when available.
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Direct to Consumer Markets
There are an increasing number of farms and ranches marketing farm products directly to the pubic
from the farm gate, offering products ranging from breads and grains to herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables,
preserves, honey, eggs and meat. The ALUI noted 30 operations offering direct sales.
Community Supported Agriculture
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an alternative, locally‐based economic model of agriculture
and food distribution that focuses on a network or association of individuals who have pledged to
support one or more local farms by purchasing an annual membership in exchange for delivery of
weekly produce boxes seasonally or meat products. There are several small-scale CSA initiatives
operating in North Okanagan. Pilgrims’ Produce has been operating a CSA since 1995 that runs for 22
weeks and only includes products grown on the farm. The Good Food Box Program is a volunteer nonprofit bulk buying initiative operated by the Social Planning Council of North Okanagan that provides
fresh and, if possible, locally produced produce at a low cost to families across the North Okanagan.
Most North Okanagan CSA agreements are informal arrangements between farmers and residents.
Farmers Markets
Seasonal farmers markets offering local produce operate in a number of communities in the North
Okanagan. Farmers markets typically operate on weekends from mid‐June to early September and
feature seasonal agricultural produce as well as locally produced agricultural products, crafts and
artwork. The following farmers’ and public markets are in operation in the North Okanagan:
BC Association of Farmers’ Markets
Members
Independent
Armstrong Farmers' Market
Coldstream Winter Farmers' Market
Cherryville Farmers' Market
Enderby Public Market
Vernon Farmers' Market
Kingfisher Community Farmers' Market
Vernon Friday Night Farmers' Market
Lumby Public Market
Spallumcheen Caravan Theater Farmers' Market
Vernon Winter Farmers' Market
Marketing Boards
The North Okanagan has several marketing boards and commissions that assist producers find markets
for their produce and produce support services, including:
• Okanagan Grown Produce Limited (Vegetables)
• Okanagan Tree Fruit Cooperative
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Other marketing boards provide services for North Okanagan producers but are not necessarily colocated in the area. These include:
• BC Milk Marketing Board
• BC Hog Marketing Commission
• BC Chicken Marketing Board
• BC Turkey Marketing Board
• BC Broiler Hatching Egg Commission
• BC Vegetable marketing Commission
• BC Egg Marketing Board
Training and Education
Although the North Okanagan has a diversity of agricultural production, expanding urban agricultural
production and an emerging Young Agrarians community, few agricultural education opportunities are
provided locally. Formal education opportunities include:
• 4-H and many local secondary schools offer horticultural education programs and urban
agriculture opportunities for students.
• The Okanagan College Kelowna campus offers an 18-week Horticulture Pre-Apprentice Program.
• Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops offers a thirty-five week Horticulture Certificate
Program.
Patchwork Farms, located on the Okanagan College Vernon campus, provides both “hands-on”
education opportunities for volunteers and students, as well as agricultural workshops and educational
events. Patchwork Farms is administered by Kindale and several community partners. The produce
grown at the site is shared between volunteers and non-profit organizations including Kindale, the
Canadian Mental Health Association, the Upper Room Mission, Transition House and the Salvation
Army.
The majority of agricultural training opportunities are informal and are based upon on-farm
opportunities or workshops offered by organizations such as Young Agrarians or Stewards of
Irreplaceable Lands (SOIL) apprenticeships.
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Conclusion and Next Steps
The RDNO has a rich farming history and is characterized with high agricultural capability soils and
climate. Water resources benefit from conservation practices and are mainly governed on a local basis.
Climate change is predicted to increase water scarcity for all users but may open up the diversity of
possible crop production in the region due to an increase in seasonal temperatures.
The Regional Growth Strategy and the OCPs in the region contain a multitude of goals, objectives, and
policy directions that support farming and the agricultural land base. Over the last 10 years many local
organizations and governments have developed food system plans, agricultural plans, and food security
strategies. Clearly all the biophysical, policy, and local regulatory pieces are in place to create a healthy
environment for viable agricultural operations and value-added food businesses, such as processing,
canning, juicing, brewing, as well as retail and distribution.
This Background Report sets the agricultural context for the region. Next steps involve using the
Background Report and the Market Opportunities Analysis to develop the Regional Agricultural Area
Plan (RAAP) for the RDNO. The RAAP will include a vision statement, key objectives, recommended
actions, pilot project outlines, and an implementation and funding strategy.
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References and Bibliography
rd
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), 1998. The Canadian System of Soil Classification, 3 Edition.
http://sis.agr.gc.ca/cansis/taxa/cssc3/intro.html
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), 2010. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
http://www.agr.gc.ca/index_e.php
Agricultural Land Commission (ALC), 2010. Agricultural Land Commission.
http://www.alc.gov.bc.ca/legislation/legislation_main.htm
BC Assessment Authority fact sheet: classifying farmland.
http://www.bcassessment.ca/public/Fact%20Sheets/Classifying%20Farm%20Land.aspx
BC Laws, 2003. Community Charter.
http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/03026_00
BC Laws, 2004. Food Safety Act: Meat Inspection Regulation.
http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/10_349_2004
BC Laws, 2008. Agricultural Waste Control Regulation.
http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/10_131_92
City of Vernon, 2014. Liquid Waste Management Plan
http://www.vernon.ca/services/operations/liquid_waste.html
City of Vernon, 2013. Sustainable Infrastructure Investment Plan
www.vernon.ca/services/pde/ocp/talkocp/.../assetmgtOCP2013.pdf
Crawford, E. and E. MacNair, 2012. Wine grape and tree fruit production: Okanagan region snapshot report. BC
Agriculture and Food Climate Action Initiative.
Curran, D. 2014. British Columbia’s New Water Sustainability Act – Waiting for the Details
http://poliswaterproject.org/sites/default/files/Bill%2018%202014%20Summary%20May%2013%202014.pdf
Environment Canada, 2013. Climate Normals. http://climate.weatheroffice.gc.ca/climate_normals Accessed May
2013.
Gough, N.A., Hughes-Games, G.A., and D.C. Nikkel, 1994. Soil Management Handbook for the Okanagan and
st
Similkameen Valleys. 1 Edition. BC Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food.
Greater Vernon Water Master Water Plan, 2012.
http://www.rdno.ca/index.php/services/engineering/water/greater-vernon-water/master-water-plan
Greater Vernon Water Map of Water Provision Area – Figure 1-1, GVW Master Water Plan.
http://www.rdno.ca/docs/TM1_Domestic_Ag_Water_Demand_Forecast.pdf
Kenk and Sondheim, 1987. The BC Ministry of Environment and Parks Thematic Mapping Geographic Information
System. CAPAMP. Volume 1: Data entry and validation procedures for soil, agriculture capability, surficial geology
and the all-purpose entity. MOEP Manual 10. Surveys and Resource Mapping Branch, Ministry of Environment and
Parks.
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Maguire, G., 1978. Perspective on Land Use: Vernon Sub-region, Regional District of North Okanagan. Planning
Department, RDNO.
Ministry of Agriculture and Lands (BC MAL), 2010. BC Agricultural Research and Development Corporation.
Canada-BC Environmental Farm Plan Program: Reference Guide. For use with the publication: Canada-BC
Environmental Farm Plan Planning Workbook. Published by BC Agricultural Research and Development
Corporation. Prepared by BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands. 3rd Ed. February 2010.
Ministry of Environment, 2013. BC Water Resources Atlas http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wsd/data_searches/wrbc/
Monahan, P.A., 2006. North Okanagan Aquifer Mapping Project.
Okanagan Basin Water Board, 2013. Key findings: Groundwater. http://www.obwb.ca/wsd/keyfindings/groundwater
Okanagan Basin Water Board, 2010. Agriculture water demand model.
http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/resmgmt/publist/500Series/500300-3_Agric_Water_Demand_ModelOkanagan_Report.pdf
Okanagan Indian Band: An Introduction. http://okib.ca
Ormsby, M.A., 1931. A study of the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. MA Thesis, University of British Columbia.
Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC), 2014. Plan2Adapt: tool quick start.
http://www.pacificclimate.org/analysis-tools/plan2adapt
Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO), 2013. Noxious weeds and invasive plants pamphlet.
http://www.rdno.ca/index.php/services/engineering/environmental-services/noxious-weeds-invasive-plants
Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO), 1983. Review of Agricultural Lands: Electoral Areas “A”, “B”, and “C.”
Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO), 1980. Agricultural Land Use.
Revised Statutes of BC (RSBC), 1996. Right to Farm Act (Farm Practices Protection Act). Revised Statutes of BC.
http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/00_96131_01
Revised Statutes of BC (RSBC), 1996a. BC Assessment Act.
http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/00_96020_01
Revised Statutes of BC (RSBC), 1996b. Land Title Act.
http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/96250_00
Rosella, L., 2001. Sunshine Coast: A Place to Be. Heritage House Publishing.
Shaw, R., 1987. Effects of the Agricultural Land Reserve on Vernon’s Rural-Urban Fringe: Bella Vista Bench, 19561987. Final Project, Okanagan College-Kalamalka.
Shuswap
River
Watershed
Technical
Assessment
http://www.rdno.ca/docs/120203_shuswap_tech_assess_text.pdf
Shuswap River Watershed Sustainability Plan (2014).
http://www.rdno.ca/docs/141114_SRWSP_FinalFormat.pdf
(2013).
Regional
Golder
District
of
and
Associates.
North
Okanagan.
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Smith, B. 1998. Planning for Agriculture in BC. Agricultural Land Commission.
http://www.alc.gov.bc.ca/publications/planning/Planning_for_Agriculture/index.htm
Splatsin First Nation, 2013. Crop Suitability and Agriculture Feasibility.
Sprout, P.N. and C.C. Kelley, 1960. Soil Survey of the North Okanagan Valley: Interim Report. BC Department of
Agriculture, Kelowna, BC.
Statistics Canada, 2012. Agricultural Census: Farm operator data. Released May, 2012.
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/ca-ra2011/index-eng.htm
Statistics Canada. 2011. Census of Agriculture, Farm Data and Farm Operator Data.
Statistics Canada. 2006. Census of Agriculture, Farm Data and Farm Operator Data. catalogue no. 95-629-XWE.
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/95-629-x/4/4123931-eng.htm
Statistics Canada. 2001. Census of Agriculture, Farm Data and Farm Operator Data.
Statistics Canada. 1996. Census of Agriculture, Farm Data and Farm Operator Data.
Township of Spallumcheen Water Supply Strategy. March, 2008. Urban Systems
West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL), 2014. Strengths and weaknesses of the new Water Sustainability Act.
http://wcel.org/resources/environmental-law-alert/strengths-and-weaknesses-new-water-sustainability-act
West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL), 2005. Protecting the Working Landscape of BC. Prepared by D. Curran.
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Appendices
APPENDIX 1: Federal and Provincial Policies and Regulations Pertaining to Agriculture
Federal
Strategic Initiatives
Growing Forward 2, the most recent national Agricultural Policy Framework agreement between the
federal, provincial and territorial governments, is designed to help the agricultural industry position
itself to respond to future opportunities and to realize its full potential as a significant contributor to the
economy.
In British Columbia, the federal and provincial governments will invest an estimated $426.90 million in
Growing Forward 2 from 2013 to 2018. Programs cover the following key areas:
• Business Risk Management
• Innovation
• Competitiveness and Market Development
• Adaptability and Industry Capacity
Canada Agricultural Products Act
The Canada Agricultural Products Act regulates the import, export and inter‐provincial trade and
marketing of agricultural products. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) administers many of the
agricultural import and export activities. This Act standardizes agricultural grading and inspecting
procedures across Canada.
Additional Federal Legislation Affecting Agriculture
The Federal government has authority over assessment and regulation of agricultural animals, plants
and crops, including products derived from biotechnology. As well, the Federal government is also
responsible for evaluating and regulating fertilizers, pesticides, livestock feeds and veterinary biologics.
Additional federal legislation that influences various aspects of the agriculture industry include:
• Canada Grain Act
• Health of Animals Act
• Fertilizers Act
• Excise Tax Act
• Canada Wildlife Act
• Migratory Birds Convention Act
• Fisheries Act
• Excise and Import Permits Act
• Consumer Packaging and Labelling
• Pest Control Products Act
• Act Food and Drugs Act
• Farm Debt Mediation Act
• Customs Act
• Plant Protection Act
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•
•
•
Farm Income Protection Act
Seeds Act
Farm Products Agencies Act
•
•
•
Species at Risk Act
Feeds Act
Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act
Provincial
Strategic Initiatives
In 2008, the BC Ministry of Agriculture released a new Agriculture Plan for the province entitled Growing
a Healthy Future for BC Families. The plan outlined 23 strategies to sustain and facilitate the growth and
diversification of the agriculture industry.
The 2012 BC Jobs Plan Agr-ifoods Strategy builds on the initiatives undertaken through the BC
Agriculture Plan by setting priorities and actions to guide the growth of the agricultural sector over a five
year period in three key areas:
4. Focus on high‐quality, high‐value products;
5. Expand domestic and international markets; and
6. Enhance the agri-food sector’s competitiveness.
In 2012, the Province also provided a $2 million investment in a Buy Local program to help agricultural
industries and retail operations promote BC foods. The funding assisted local businesses and
organizations to launch or expand their marketing campaigns, including the Vernon Farmers’ Market
and several regional agricultural producer associations.
Agricultural Land Commission
Up to the 1970s nearly 6,000 hectares of prime agricultural land were lost each year to urban and other
uses in BC. The Provincial government responded by introducing BC's Land Commission Act on April 18,
1973. The Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) was created with the following mandate:
• To preserve agricultural land;
• To encourage farming on agricultural land in collaboration with other communities of interest;
• To encourage local governments, first nations, the provincial government and its agents to
enable and accommodate farm use of agricultural land and uses compatible with agriculture in
their plans, bylaws, and policies.
The Land Commission, appointed by the Provincial government, established a special land use zone
called the "Agricultural Land Reserve" or ALR. The ALC administers the ALC Act and is responsible for the
Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), a provincial zone in which agriculture is recognized as the priority use.
The purpose of the ALR is to ensure that the province’s agricultural land base is preserved and available
for farm uses both now and in the future. The ALC Act requires that agricultural land within the ALR only
be used for farm uses unless specifically permitted by the Act or its associated regulations.
Revisions to the ALC Act in 2002 increased the types of permitted uses in the ALR in order to expand
economic opportunities for farmers. The updated Act also allowed local governments to enter into
delegation agreements to exercise some or all of the commission’s power to decide applications for
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non‐farm use or subdivision of lands in its jurisdiction. Local governments may also decide to refuse to
refer applications for ALR exclusions or non‐farm uses to the ALC.
On March 27, 2014, the Provincial government introduced Bill 24 - Agricultural Land Commission
Amendment Act. The Bill subsequently passed on May 14, 2014 creating two ALR zones, six regional
panels and incorporating changes to ALC governance. The RDNO remains in Zone 1, which maintains the
same priorities for decision-making regarding exclusion, non-farm use, and subdivision applications, but
will do so by a three-person regional panel.
This Act was brought into force on September 5, 2014 and established revised principles and broad rules
for the protection of agricultural land in British Columbia. Currently, the Province is reviewing the
Agricultural Land Reserve Use, Subdivision and Procedure Regulation and may further expand the uses
that are permitted within the ALR.
The ALC Act takes precedence over, but does not replace, other legislation and bylaws that may apply to
the ALR. Local and regional governments, as well as other Provincial agencies, are expected to plan in
accordance with the Provincial policy of preserving agricultural land. Land in the ALR is subject to
Provincial regulation whether it is private or Crown.
The ALC invites comments and input from local governments and Agricultural Advisory Committees
regarding the potential impact of ALR exclusion, inclusion, non-farm use, and subdivision applications on
the surrounding agricultural community
Agricultural Land Reserve Use, Subdivision and Procedure Regulation
The Agricultural Land Reserve Use, Subdivision and Procedure Regulation, adopted in 2002, specifies
permitted land uses within the ALR. This regulation identifies farm activities and other, non‐farm uses
permitted in the ALR, notification requirements for soil removal and placement of fill, procedures for
submitting applications and identifies filing requirements. Land use activities not included in the
Regulation, such as subdividing land, building additional residences or excluding land from the ALR,
require approval by the ALC through the application process.
Farm Use:
Under Section 2(1) of the Regulations, permitted farm uses are in addition to regular farming or
ranching activities, although most of these uses are directly linked to agriculture production. Permitted
farm uses include, but are not limited to:
• Wineries and cideries
• Temporary or seasonal agri-tourism
activities;
• Storage, packing and processing of farm
products;
• Agroforestry;
• Equestrian facilities;
• Production of compost; and,
• Application of soil amendments;
• Land development works for farm
purposes.
• Farm retail sales;
Farm uses can be restricted but not prohibited by local government. Many of the permitted farm uses
are subject to conditions, thresholds, or other requirements.
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Permitted Uses:
Under Section 3(1) of the Regulation, permitted uses within the ALR are identified that that may or may
not be linked directly to agriculture, but are considered compatible with agriculture and have low
impacts on the agricultural land. Permitted uses include, but are not limited to:
• Home-based businesses Temporary
• Road right of way designation and/or
sawmill;
construction;
• Pet kennels and breeding facilities;
• Bed and breakfast;
• Agri-tourism accommodations;
• Education and research (excluding
schools);
• Production and development of pest
management biological products;
• Aggregate extraction (<500 m3);
• Ecological reserves, parks, protected
• Additional dwellings; and,
areas, etc.;
• Production, storage and application of
Class A compost
Permitted uses can be prohibited by local governments and many permitted uses are subject to
conditions, thresholds, or other requirements.
Subdivision:
Most subdivisions within the ALR require application to the ALC. Section 10 establishes ALR subdivision
criteria for decisions that can be made by Approving Officers without the need for an application to the
ALC.
Proposed changes:
The Province has proposed expanding the uses that are permitted within the ALR. The consultation and
Regulation review process is ongoing at this time.
Farm Practices Protection Act
The Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act was passed in April 1996. The intent of the Act was to
protect farms, using “normal farm practices”, from unwarranted nuisance complaints involving dust,
odour, noise and other disturbances. The Farm Practices Board, now called the Farm Industry Review
Board, was established to deal with complaints that arise from the Act and to determine whether the
issue results from normal farm practices.
Local Government Act
Certain provisions address farming activities through community planning; zoning; nuisance regulations;
removal and deposit of soil; weed and pest control; water use and drainage. Part 26 Division 8 ‐
Regulation of Farm Businesses in Farming Areas allows for the development of "farm bylaws" and the
establishment of agricultural standards for the guidance of local governments in the preparation of
bylaws affecting agriculture, which require approval by the Minister of Agriculture.
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Land Title Act
The Land Title Act gives Approving Officers the power to assess potential impacts of proposed
subdivisions on farm land. Before subdivision approval is given, the Approving Officer may require
adequate buffering of farmland from the subdivision or the removal of unnecessary roads directed to
the Agricultural Land Reserve, to ensure no unreasonable interference with farm operations. Within the
five Electoral Areas of the RDNO, the Approving Officer is the Provincial Approving Officer (PAO) with
the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Each municipality has their own Approving Officer
who is responsible all subdivision application within the municipal boundaries.
BC Assessment Act
Section 23 of the Assessment Act and BC Reg 411/95, the Classification of Land as a Farm Regulation
(the “Farm Class Regulation”), set out the requirements that must be met for land to be classified as
“Farm” for assessment and tax purposes. Land classified as Farm must be used all or in part for primary
agricultural production. All farm structures are classified as residential, including the farmer’s dwelling.
Farm class status results in a farm assessment that reduces property, school and hospital taxes.
The Farm Class Regulation requires a producing farm to meet minimum gross income requirements,
which vary with the size of the farm operation:
• $10,000, if the total area of the farm operation is less than 0.8 ha (1.98 acres);
• $2,500 if the total area of the farm operation is between 0.8 ha (1.98 acres) and 4 ha (10 acres);
or
• $2,500 plus 5% of the actual value of the area in excess of 4 ha (10 acres) if the total area of the
farm operation is greater than 4 ha (10 acres).
Farm class is granted on an annual basis. Once land has been classified as farm, the minimum income
requirements required for the farm operation must be met in one of two relevant reporting periods and
a sale of a qualifying agricultural product must be made in every reporting period.
Water Sustainability Act
The Water Sustainability Act (WSA) is the principal water management legislation in BC and plays a key
role in the sustainability of BC’s water supply. The Act provides for the licensing of activities including
use, diversion, and storage of water. The Act also addresses the nature of permitted changes to stream
courses under application. The Water Protection Act provides the regulatory basis for the removal or
transfer of water within and between jurisdictions.
Based upon the recent ascension of the WSA, here is the potential that water source access and volume
allocation agreements, including those that service agricultural operations, may be modified and more
actively regulated. Groundwater users will be licenced and regulated over time. The WSA leaves the
mechanisms for granting groundwater licences to be developed through Provincial regulations, which
are currently in development. This could give Provincial and local governments more time to consult
with water users in water scarce regions before unsustainable users of water are locked in to new
licences.
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The WSA allows the provincial government to make orders to protect “critical environmental flows” in
times of scarcity, meaning flows to protect fish populations and aquatic ecosystems for up to 90 days at
a time, which could impact farmers during peak production periods. However, because the First-in-Time,
First-in-Right system of water allocation is maintained for surface water users and is extended to
groundwater users, most producers won’t be impacted by the new consideration of environmental
flows. Only new licence applications would be open to this new level of criteria.
Water Sustainability Plans
The new Water Sustainability Act augments the current ability to undertake water management plans
under Part 4 of the Water Act. Called Water Sustainability Plans, the WSA establishes a comprehensive
regime whereby the province can make an order to establish a local water planning process for an area
or proposed development if the plan will assist in preventing or addressing conflicts between water
users or the needs of water users and environmental flow needs; risks to water quality or aquatic
ecosystem health; or will required identification of restoration measures in relation to damage created
in aquatic ecosystems. The intent is to have a watershed- or issue-defined process where interested
parties, including local governments, the provincial government, water users and First Nations, can
come to an agreement about most aspects of water. Plans are not limited to water allocation but may
consider water quality, drought planning, water sharing, changes to existing licences, and anything else
set out in the terms of reference. The responsible person preparing the plan has the authority to require
water users to provide information about their water use and to gather data as needed.
Water for agriculture is acknowledged in the WSA as an important interest that may warrant specific
attention in certain watersheds, including the Okanagan. Water Sustainability Plans may designate
“dedicated agricultural water”, also known as agricultural water reserves. This allows the water
sustainability planning process to prioritize or establish unique rules for agriculture, which will be
particularly useful when considering how reductions in water use will be handled through drought
planning and management.
The interpretation of the broad regulatory powers associated with these Plans will be further clarified
during the development of the first WSPs and implementing regulations.
Wildlife Act
The Wildlife Act establishes regulations and guidelines for the conservation and management of wildlife
populations and habitats, the issuance of licenses and permits for fishing, game hunting, and trapping,
guidelines for safe angling and trapping and outfitting policies.
The Provincial Agriculture Zone Wildlife Program (PAZWP) was developed in 2009 Province to
accommodate the special objectives in agricultural zones throughout BC and provide special
opportunities for hunters. PAZWP helps coordinate crop damage prevention, mitigation and
compensation strategies for damage done by certain species of wildlife. PAZWP has helped increase
hunting opportunities in agricultural areas and ungulate winter range zones.
Livestock Act
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The Livestock Act defines Livestock Districts (areas where livestock may be at large) and Pound Districts
(areas where livestock at large are subject to capture) and the conditions of capture, liability and
trespass.
Forest and Range Practices Act and Range Act
The Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) and its regulations govern the activities of forest and range
licensees in BC. The statute sets the requirements for planning, road building, logging, reforestation and
grazing. The Range Act gives the right to use Crown land for grazing or hay cutting. However, it is the
FRPA and its various regulations that give direction on how and when rangeland may be used.
The Range Planning and Practices Regulation requires that those who use Crown lands for livestock
grazing must submit either a Range Use Plan (“RUP”) or Range Stewardship Plan (“RSP”) for approval by
the Ministry of Agriculture prior to using rangeland.
Weed Control Act
The Weed Control Act and Weed Control Regulations address the duty and responsibilities for
designated noxious weed control, and the provision for local governments to appoint Committees and
Inspection personnel to administer the provisions of the Act.
Environmental Management Act
Under the Environmental Management Act, provisions exempt an agricultural producer from obtaining
permits if specific conditions are met. The Agricultural Waste Control Regulation and associated Code of
Practice regulate practices for using, storing and managing agricultural waste material in order to
prevent pollution. The Regulation and the Code deal with agricultural waste storage and on‐farm
composting. The Organic Matter Recycling Regulation specifies how composting is conducted in
commercial facilities, including feedstock, size, technology, siting and procedures, and compost quality.
Meat Inspection Regulations
Until 2004, meat inspection in British Columbia was decentralized and the decision to implement
inspection programs for locally marketed meat was left to the discretion of local governments. On-farm
slaughter for commercial purposes was legal and largely unsupervised. In 2003, the BSE (Bovine
Spongiform Encephalopathy) outbreak, also known as “made cow” disease was the catalyst for
province regulation of meat inspection. The Meat Inspection Regulation (MIR) established the
requirements for all provincially licensed slaughter facilities in British Columbia. The regulation came
into force in 2004, and compliance became mandatory on September 30, 2007.
In 2010 the BC government made a fundamental change to the Meat Inspection Regulation. Acting on
feedback from livestock producers struggling with lack of access to licensed facilities and local
government concerns, the Ministry reintroduced provisions for on-farm slaughter through the
introduction of Class D and E licenses. The issuing of this licences were explicitly limited in the
Regulation to geographic areas where licensed slaughter facilities, whether fixed or mobile, did not
exist; sparsely populated districts of the northern coast and interior. The North Okanagan was not
included within this list.
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The MIR ensures that animals are humanely handled and slaughtered; carcasses are processed
hygienically; and that meat is stored and packaged in ways that reduce contamination risks. The new
graduated licensing approach includes several levels of slaughter operation for provincially licensed
facilities:
• Class A facilities include slaughter and ‘cut and wrap’ services;
• Class B facilities include slaughter only;
• Class C was temporarily introduced in 2007 to make it possible for many slaughter operators to
become fully licensed. These licenses have been phased out;
• Class D ‐ Retail Sales – permits direct producer sales to local consumers and to retail
establishments with geographic restrictions. Restricts production to between one and 25 animal
units (approximately 11,350 kg live weight); and
• Class E ‐ Direct Sales –permits direct producer sales to local consumers. Restricts production to
between one and 10 animal units (approximately 4,540 kg live weight). Class E licenses are also
limited to the designated geographic areas but may be available to other rural and remote areas
of the province on a case‐by‐case basis.
In February 2014, the Ministry of Agriculture unveiled a pilot project that provided five Class E licences
in the North Okanagan over a two-year period.
Natural Products Marketing Act (Commodity Marketing Boards)
The Natural Products Marketing Act provides for the promotion, control and regulation of the
production, transportation, packing, storage and marketing of natural products in British Columbia. The
Farm Industry Review Board (FIRB) is responsible for the general supervision of agricultural commodity
boards.
Broiler hatching eggs, chicken, table eggs, cow milk, and turkey are regulated both provincially and
federally under a system of supply management by the respective boards and commissions:
• BC Broiler Hatching Egg Commission
• BC Milk Marketing Board
• BC Chicken Marketing Board
• BC Turkey Marketing Board
• BC Egg Marketing Board
Cranberries, hogs and vegetables are regulated provincially by their respective commissions. These
commodities are not subject to the same production, import and price controls as supply managed
products.
• BC Cranberry Marketing Commission
• BC Hog Marketing Commission
• BC Vegetable Marketing Commission
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In the North Okanagan, producers of the following products are affected by the regulations and policies
under this Act include dairy, poultry, eggs, turkeys and some vegetables.
BC Environmental Farm Plan Program
The Canada‐BC Environmental Farm Plan Program is a voluntary program that assists farmers in
developing an environmental action plan for their farm that enhances natural resources and reduces the
possibility of accidental harm to soil, air, water and biodiversity values.
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Areas B & C
(Bylaw No. 2626, 2014)
Jurisdiction
Notes
Page 79 of 157
Approximately 29% of private land within Area B and 25% of private land within Area C is in the ALR. This accounts for a total of 7,800
ha.
Section 3 of the OCP outlines many agricultural policies and includes an Agricultural land use designation. Minimum parcel size for
Agricultural lands is 30.5 ha unless otherwise approved by the ALC. Large parcel sizes and setbacks are encouraged and supported to
minimize land use conflicts and support long term agricultural use. Appropriate buffers required between non-ALR developments and
ALR properties.
Supports agricultural industrial use.
All applications for exclusions, subdivision, land exchanges and non-farm use must show documentation including a Professional
Agrologist report, which indicates why the application is necessary or appropriate.
Agricultural irrigation rates will remain competitive with irrigation rates in other water districts in the Okanagan Valley and volumes
equal to present irrigation usage.
Weaknesses:
•
Minimum standard for subdivision of 2.0 ha in some areas, especially Area C.
•
•
•
•
•
Strengths:
•
OCP policies support the ALR and discourage incompatible land uses and urban encroachment. The OCP encourages agricultural
production, processing, sale, and distribution of locally grown products and recognizes the importance of agriculture to the rural
identity and economy.
Goals include:
1. Maintain and enhance the agricultural and rural character of the Plan area and ensure that future development types and densities are
compatible with existing conditions.
2. Support the development of agricultural, commercial, home-based business and industrial opportunities for the benefit of the economy of the
region.
4. Support and encourage agriculture in the community through preservation of the land base and restrictions on uses which are not compatible
with current or future agricultural activities.
Table A1. Summary of OCP agricultural policies in the RDNO.
The following table presents a summary of the OCPs pertaining to communities within the RDNO and provides an overview of specific strengths
and weaknesses included within them with regard to agriculture. The summary is not intended to be a critique of local policies and initiatives,
rather it is presented to provide context regarding the current state of policies in order to prepare measured and appropriate recommendations
through the RAAP process.
Appendix II: Overview of Agricultural Policies within RDNO OCPs and Zoning Bylaws
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item E.1
Area F
(Bylaw #1934, 2004 &
2011 – Under Review)
Silver
Star
(Bylaw
#1925, 2004)
Electoral Areas D & E
(Bylaw #2485, 2011)
Page 80 of 157
Weaknesses:
•
No specific DPA for the Protection of Agriculture.
Strengths:
•
Objectives include: To maintain and expand, to a sustainable level, the present diversified economic base of agriculture, tourism, light
manufacturing, home occupations and the natural resources of the Plan area; to provide land for agricultural commercial and
agricultural industrial uses and resource based commercial and industrial uses in optimum locations; and to work toward an increased
level of self-sufficiency by maintaining the present agricultural land base and by providing for expansion of agriculturally related
activities.
Strengths:
•
Principle #3 – Environmental Stewardship – Ensure the protection, restoration and management of the region’s natural and agricultural
environments for present and future generations. Minimize conflicts by developing and applying clear growth management and land
use policies.
•
Principle #5 – Local Economic Resilience – Encourage economic development as a key to prosperity for the entire community through:
the designation of employment lands; supporting diversification of employment through business development; providing educations
opportunities to residents; and maintaining the integrity of resource lands for agriculture, forestry, and mining.
•
There are 19 agriculture policies, including:
o Agricultural Industrial land uses that support local farm production should be encouraged.
o If an exclusion application is advanced, the application will need to be supported by a soil analysis conducted by a Professional
Agrologist or a soil scientist, concluding that the land is physically incapable of supporting agriculture as evaluated. Additionally it
must be demonstrated that there are no negative impacts on agriculture. This information is to be provided at the expense of the
landowner.
o Support of programs which have a positive effect on agricultural activities such as noxious weed control, dog control, and routing of
major roads and utilities to avoid farm severance’s, shall be considered.
o Buffer required for new developments or subdivisions adjacent to agricultural land.
o Supportive of ALC policies regarding agri-tourism businesses.
o An amendment to the Zoning Bylaw is recommended to ensure consistency between different RDNO areas.
o Use of covenants that are registered with new rural subdivisions that recognize existing neighbouring agricultural use.
•
Efforts to improve the local agricultural economy may include:
o strategically locating a farmers market;
o initiatives to increase agricultural awareness;
o development of community gardens;
o density bonusing for projects providing opportunities for local food production (e.g., community gardens or greenhouses); and
o liaison with the Ministry of Agriculture regarding opportunities for hosting local workshops on ways to enhance opportunities for
growing and marketing economically viable, local agricultural products.
•
Agricultural land use designation, with a minimum subdivision size of 30.5 ha.
•
Includes overview of Ecovillage developments, with a focus on organic farming.
•
No specific DPA for the Protection of Agriculture.
There are no lands suitable for agricultural uses or within the ALR within the Plan area.
xi
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item E.1
City of Enderby
(Bylaw #1549, 2014)
City of Armstrong
(Bylaw #1750, 2014)
Page 81 of 157
Economic Development policies:
- Agriculture practices are promoted through shop local and food security initiatives.
- Council will encourage and support the local agricultural community as it is a key component to the local economy.
- Council will support the agricultural sector by exploring appropriate means to investigate and encourage small scale agriculture, farmers
markets, shop local promotional campaigns, community gardens, and supportive infrastructure for urban agriculture, when appropriate, with due
Weaknesses:
•
Acknowledging the desire to grow within its existing boundaries, which do contain some ALR parcels, the OCP sets out certain criteria
under which exclusion of ALR parcels within its boundaries may be supported.
•
No specific DPA for the Protection of Agriculture.
The new OCP (introduced in 2014) includes some positive aspects with regard to the agricultural sector. These include:
Weaknesses:
•
Riparian area setbacks may be too restrictive for farming.
•
Direction to review and fine tune the ALR boundary may be perceived as having a negative impact on agriculture.
•
No specific DPA for the Protection of Agriculture.
Strengths:
•
Goals include maintaining Armstrong’s role as a central place, providing services for the surrounding agricultural community; to find
new ways of encouraging agricultural activity within the City, including the allowance for urban farming; supporting the year-round
operation of the Armstrong Farmers Market; encouraging growing food on residential properties; encouraging the development of
communal food-safe kitchens, cellar and/or storage facilities; roof-top gardens and/or patio gardens; rainwater collection system for
irrigation; and composting systems.
•
Support for local food organizations, the creation of food celebrations, and implementation of the RGS agriculture and food systems
recommendations is also included.
•
Supports urban containment, redevelopment of existing urban areas, secondary suites, and infill development, which will serve to
protect farmland.
•
Requires buffers between urban and rural land uses.
•
Landowners requesting removal of their lands from the ALR must document the need for additional non-agricultural land within City
boundaries having regard to: future growth projections, existing lands available for development and redevelopment, suitability for
development, and the need to maintain a diversity of land use options by ensuring an adequate market supply of developable land
within City boundaries.
Twelve agricultural policies including:
•
Minimum parcel sizes consistent with the capability and productivity of agricultural lands, bearing mind that land with lower capability
and productivity requires larger acreage.
•
Setbacks and buffers between agricultural and non-agricultural properties.
•
Establish a Farm Bylaw to regulate intensive agriculture.
•
Support for agricultural industrial activities.
•
ALR land is located within Agricultural and Rural Low Density land use designations.
xii
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item E.1
Page 82 of 157
District of Coldstream
Village
of
Lumby
(Bylaw #761, 2014)
Note:
A review of the Lumby OCP is currently underway. First Reading is scheduled for late 2014 with adoption planned for 2015.
Strengths:
Weaknesses:
•
The Village supports minor fine-tuning of the ALR boundary to reflect land use and improved technical information about agricultural
capability.
•
Does not include an Agricultural land use designation.
•
No specific DPA for the Protection of Agriculture.
Strengths:
•
Supports the preservation and use of the Canadian National Railway corridor for rail transport purposes, recognizing that key sectors of
the local economy, including forestry, agriculture, and manufacturing utilize rail for transporting raw materials and finished goods.
Not many OCP policies mention agriculture, perhaps because of the small amount of ALR within the Village boundaries. The policies that support
agriculture include:
Encourage and support programs to promote the area’s advantages and opportunities such as central location for agriculture, forestry, recreation,
and major transportation routes.
Weaknesses of the new OCP include:
- Policies to exclude ALR land in the southwest corner (this land is stated to have marginal (Class 4 and 5) soils) and a policy to refine the ALR
boundary within Enderby.
Within the Village, two parcels of land comprising approximately 43 hectares, one at the south end of the village and one at the northeast
boundary are located within the ALR. The southern property is currently being used to graze cattle, while the northern property is the home of
the Lumby 9-hole golf course. In addition to the important economic benefits of the farming industry to the community, the residents have
expressed a desire to maintain farmland and open space in Lumby to preserve the ambiance and character of the Village.
Several Agricultural Lands objectives and policies including:
- Council will evaluate and assess applications for development adjacent or in proximity to agricultural lands with consideration to the
compatibility of uses, densities and will seek to minimize potential conflicts between neighbours and farm operations through day-to-day
decisions and policies.
Urban Containment and Rural Protection policies:
- Council will maintain the City’s current municipal boundaries for the term of this Plan.
Environmental policies:
- Sustainable agricultural practices are ensured through regulation, zoning, education and awareness.
- Council will incorporate provisions into the Zoning Bylaw to establish setbacks from watercourses for agricultural uses.
consideration given to management of waste streams.
xiii
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item E.1
City of Vernon (Bylaw
#5151, 2008 & 2013)
(Bylaw #1445, 2005 &
2014)
The plan states that it attempts to preserve as much of the rural and agricultural land as possible.
There are many policies that are supportive of agriculture, including:
Support for the Coldstream Agricultural Plan.
Encourage a mixture and diversity of agricultural uses and encourage the protection of agricultural land.
Encourage neighbouring local governments to develop an Agricultural Area Plan.
Explore cooperative and shared opportunities with local governments that support agriculture (marketing and branding, Regional
Agricultural Support Officer).
Includes Agricultural, Residential – in ALR, Light Industrial – in ALR, General. Industrial – in ALR, Resource Industrial – in ALR land use
designations.
A 10 hectare minimum parcel size for all land within the ALR.
No support for ALR exclusions of land having improved land capability for agriculture classes 1-4.
Support for agri-tourism and agri-accommodation operations.
Permit a second residence for accessory agricultural employees.
Include Farm Home Plate regulations in the zoning bylaw.
Support for urban agriculture initiatives.
Page 83 of 157
Note:
A review of Vernon’s OCP is currently underway. It includes an “Agriculture and Food Access” set of objectives and priorities. These include:
- Support the development of regional Agricultural Area Plans (AAPs) and a regional agricultural economic development plan in collaboration with
Weaknesses:
•
Despite the importance of ALR to the community some areas have been identified for future residential use.
•
No specific DPA for the Protection of Agriculture.
Strengths:
•
Includes “Protect agricultural land” as one of the 9 Guiding Principles.
•
Goals include: protect ALR lands and pursue a no net loss policy; prepare an Agricultural Area Plan to strengthen the role of agriculture
in the community and local economy; and encourage food access and food production opportunities for Vernon residents.
•
Includes a Rural/Agricultural land use designation for ALR lands and for land outside the ALR with strong rural character.
Rural/Agricultural lands outside the ALR will have a minimum lot size of 12 hectares.
•
Policies include:
Direct new growth away from ALR lands.
Encourage a diverse and mixed use of agricultural lands.
Prepare an AAP for the Greater Vernon Area.
Ensure impacts on farmland from adjacent uses are minimized.
Require vegetative buffer strips to protect ALR properties from non-ALR lands.
Encourage agritourism through appropriate zoning.
Continue to invest in the City’s spray irrigation system.
Ensure sufficient water resources for agricultural users is incorporated into the Greater Vernon Master Water Plan.
Support urban agricultural initiatives.
•
Development Permit Area #3 (Hillside Residential and Agricultural District) is included for the protection of farmland.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
xiv
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item E.1
Township
Spallumcheen
#1794, 2011)
of
(Bylaw
Page 84 of 157
Weaknesses:
•
No specific DPA for the Protection of Agriculture.
Unfortunately it also includes a statement about considering the exclusion of ALR lands that are Class 5-7:
- Protect ALR lands which have viable, productive soils which may be improved through standard farming practices of soil capability classes 1-4,
and consider the exclusion of ALR Lands which are not considered to be able to be improved through standard farming practices (i.e. irrigation),
classes 5-7.
- Consider the exclusion of ALR lands (classes 4-7) that are immediately adjacent to infrastructure, services and amenities, with due consideration
of the rural protection area boundary. Where such lands fall within the rural protection area, but are deemed to support the City’s growth
strategy and are in keeping with the RGS goal of compact, complete communities, require the RDNO's approval on the redesignation of the lands
as growth or future growth areas in the Regional Growth Strategy prior to exploring any redesignation of the lands in the OCP's land use plan to a
more intensive land use.
Strengths:
•
The primary goal is to preserve the Township’s agricultural land base, the community’s rural character and environmental attributes
while allowing changes in land use, which will not compromise this primary goal.
•
Objectives include: maintain Spallumcheen as a predominantly agricultural and rural community and support an increased level of
economic activity in the agricultural industry.
•
Policies include:
Generally not support the removal of land from the ALR.
Any boundary adjustments or annexations to include ALR lands into the City of Armstrong is not supported.
The creation of panhandle lots within the ALR is not supported.
Includes specific criteria for when ALR applications will be considered (more than 12% slope on 50% or more of the property;
existing residences that pre-date the ALR, etc.)
Support for the Township’s Agricultural Area Plan recommendations.
Agricultural industrial land uses that support farm production are encouraged to locate on non-ALR land.
other partners, as appropriate.
- Coordinate with the Regional District of North Okanagan to identify opportunities to support and strengthen agricultural economic opportunities
in Vernon and throughout the region.
- Require buffer strips to protect agricultural operations where non-agricultural properties are adjacent to land with agricultural uses, particularly
ALR lands.
- The City will prepare appropriate zoning regulations and supporting policies that facilitate and encourage agri-tourism in agricultural areas.
- Support sustainable rural and urban agricultural practices within the city, including support for community and neighbourhood gardens and
urban food production wherever possible, and encourage the development of a year round, indoor public market.
xv
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item E.1
Page 85 of 157
Notes:
RDNO (Bylaw #1888, 2003)
Jurisdiction
Small Holding (SH)
Agricultural Industrial (I4)
Zone
TableA2. Summary of zoning bylaws and permitted agricultural uses in RDNO.
Agricultural (restricted, if at least 1 ha)
Processing, rendering, canning, dairies, dehydration, freezing, mills,
hatcheries, fertilizer storage and sales, livestock auctions, meat packing
and slaughter houses.
Permitted Agricultural Uses Include
1.0 ha
xvi
Minimum Lot Sizes
The following table presents a summary of the Regional District of North Okanagan and member municipality zoning bylaws and provides an
overview of specific strengths and weaknesses included within them with regard to agriculture. The summary is not intended to be a critique of
local zoning, rather it is presented to provide context regarding the current state of land use in order to prepare measured and appropriate
recommendations through the RAAP process.
Overview of Zoning Bylaws within the RDNO
It is through the zoning bylaws that the long-term goals found in the RGS and OCPs are implemented. However, it is not uncommon for old zones
to be in place prior to the adoption of new policies, which may not be consistent with land use designations of current OCPs and the RGS.
Therefore it is important to note that ALR land designations at the RGS and OCP levels do not always coincide with regulations found in the
Zoning Bylaws. RGS and OCP land use designations denote the future intended land use for an area while zoning is the land use that is currently
permitted. However, it is worthwhile to examine how some ALR land is treated in the Electoral Areas, and how that affects issues such as
minimum parcel sizes. OCP policies usually include recommendations for minimum parcel sizes allowed during subdivision of all land use
designations, however existing zoning may allow smaller parcels to be created based on site specific conditions. The ALC encourages local
governments to remind landowners that ALR subdivision applications must be approved by the ALC and the Subdivision Approval Officer may
not necessarily allow for a parcel within the ALR to be subdivided, regardless of whether the application meets minimum parcel size
requirements.
Zoning Bylaws
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item E.1
Between 4-10 laying hens permitted
in all Rural or Residential areas.
Schedule provided that outlines
agricultural setbacks required in
rural, residential, and other zones
from lot lines and water courses.
Page 86 of 157
•
Notes:
•
•
•
Schedule G - Division 15 - Agricultural
Setbacks provides lot line and water
setbacks for principal farm buildings,
Agricultural use (intensive): more
than 6 animal units per ha;
Agricultural use (limited): 2 animal
units per ha or less;
Agricultural use (restricted): 1 animal
unit per ha or less.
Definitions:
City of Armstrong (Bylaw # 1268, 1997 (2014))
•
•
30.5 ha
Accessory farm sales (for products grown on site), fruit and produce
picker’s cabins (for parcels larger than 4 hectares), intensive agricultural
use (on parcels larger than 0.8 hectares), packing houses, infiltration
and irrigation of treated sewage effluent, wineries and cideries, and
work force housing units.
Rapid infiltration and spray irrigation of treated sewage effluent.
Non-Urban (NU)
Large Holding (LH)
Spray Irrigation (S1)
Agricultural (A1)
Country Residential Zone
(CR)
Light Industrial Zone (I1)
7.2 ha
Accessory farm sales (for products grown on site), fruit and produce
picker’s cabins (for parcels larger than 4 hectares), intensive agricultural
use (on parcels larger than 0.8 hectares), packing houses, infiltration
and irrigation of treated sewage effluent, wineries and cideries, and
work force housing units.
Country Residential (CR)
Accessory farm sales; agriculture; bed & breakfast use; wineries and
cideries; medical marihuana production facilities. Assembly (events)
only permitted on A1 properties outside the ALR.
Accessory farm sales with some restrictions; agricultural use (limited);
bed & breakfast use.
Livestock and farm equipment auctions; retail sales including farm
equipment, chemicals, feed, seed, and farm supplies, irrigation
equipment (including service)l; service and repair including cold storage
plants, feed mills, frozen food lockers, laboratories, nurseries,
greenhouses, veterinarians, warehousing (wholesale and distribution).
2.0 ha
Accessory farm sales (for products grown on site), fruit and produce
picker’s cabins (for parcels larger than 4 hectares), intensive agricultural
use (on parcels larger than 0.8 hectares), wineries and cideries, and
work force housing units.
xvii
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item E.1
Page 87 of 157
•
•
Notes:
•
•
•
Schedule G - Agricultural Setbacks
provides lot line and water setbacks
for principal farm buildings,
structures, and areas.
Schedule J - Agricultural buffer zone
Agricultural use (intensive): more
than 6 animal units per ha;
Agricultural use (limited): 6 animal
units per ha or less;
Agricultural use (restricted): 3 animal
units per ha or less
Definitions:
District of Coldstream (Bylaw #1382, 2002
(2013))
structures, and areas.
Agricultural (limited) if at least 1 ha
Agricultural (limited) if at least 1 ha
Resource Industrial (I5)
Town Centre Mixed Use
Commercial (C3)
Light Industrial (I1)
Farmers markets
Rural 2 (RU2)
Agricultural (restricted) if at least 1 ha
Accessory farm sales restricted to products produced on the property,
fruit and produce pickers' cabins (if at least 4 ha), agricultural (intensive
if at least 0.8 ha and in the ALR), agricultural (limited if at least 1 ha),
packing houses.
Rural 1 (RU1)
Agricultural Industrial (I4)
One single family dwelling for operator; cottage industries including
estate wineries, and fancy meat and sausage processing (if at least 4
ha); canneries, dairies, dehydrators, freezing plants, feed and flour
mills, fertilizers, fruit and vegetable processing, hatcheries, poutry
dressers, meat packing, slaughterhouses. Agricultural use (intensive) if
at least 1 ha; livestock and farm equipment auctions, retail sale of
products manufactured or processed on site.
xviii
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item E.1
Page 88 of 157
Agricultural use (intensive): more
than 6 animal units per ha;
Agricultural use (limited): 6 animal
units per ha or less;
Agricultural use (restricted): 3 animal
units per ha or less
•
•
Agricultural use (intensive): more
than 6 animal units per ha;
Agricultural use (limited): 6 animal
units per ha or less;
Definitions:
Village of Lumby (Bylaw #750, 2012)
•
•
•
Definitions:
City of Enderby (Bylaw #966, 1987)
General Industrial (I2)
Light Industrial (I1)
Agricultural (limited); Agricultural (intensive if at least 0.8 ha and in the
ALR), accessory produce and fruit sales for products grown on the same
parcel, fruit and produce pickers' cabins (if at least 4 ha)
Country Residential (CR)
Agricultural (limited if at least 1 ha); manufacturing, processing, storage
of food products including feed, flour, fruit, grain; agricultural
machinery; livestock and farm equipment auctions; retail and servicing
of farm and irrigation equipment, frozen food lockers, greenhouses,
Livestock and farm equipment auctions; retail sales including farm
equipment (including service), irrigation equipment (including service),
frozen food lockers, greenhouses, hatcheries, manufacturing and
processing.
Agricultural (restricted) if at least 1 ha
Agricultural (restricted) if at least 1 ha
Residential Apartment
and Mulity-Family (R3)
Residential Two Family
(R2)
Agricultural (restricted) if at least 1 ha
Agricultural (limited) if at least 1 ha
Light Industrial (I1)
Residential Single Family
(R1)
Agricultural (limited)
Residential
Comprehensive
Development 2 (RCD2)
Greenhouses and nurseries; Agricultural (limited) if at least 1 ha
Agricultural (restricted) if at least 1 ha
Residential Estate (RE)
Industrial Park (I3)
Agricultural (restricted) if accessory to an existing residential use,
limited to horticulture and a maximum of 2 horses, only if serviced by a
community water system.
Residential
Comprehensive
Development 1 (RCD1)
xix
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item E.1
Agricultural use (restricted): 3 animal
units per ha or less
Page 89 of 157
•
Notes:
•
•
•
Division Nineteen - Schedule J Agricultural Setbacks in Rural Zones
Agricultural use (intensive): more
than 6 animal units per ha;
Agricultural use (limited): 6 animal
units per ha or less;
Agricultural use (restricted): 3 animal
units per ha or less
Definitions:
Township of Spallumcheen (Bylaw #1700,
2008 (2012))
•
Accessory farm sales, dog kennel, agricultural (intensive if at least 0.8
ha and in the ALR), agricultural (limited).
Small Holding (SH)
Country Residential (CR)
Accessory employee bunkhouse use, accessory farm sales, agricultural
zone home occupations, agricultural (intensive), resource use, wineries
Agricultural (intensive if at least 0.8 ha and in the ALR); agricultural
(restricted).
Agricultural Industrial (I4)
Agricultural (A2)
Accommodation of one dwelling unit; cottage industries including
estate wineries, cottage breweries, and fancy meat and sausage
processing; dog kennels; animal by-products and rendering plants,
canneries, dairies, dehydration and freezing plants, feed and flour mills,
fertiziler storage and sales, fruit and vegetable processing, hatcheries,
poultry dressers, meat packing establishments, and slaughter houses;
agricultural (intensive); livestock and farm equipment auctions; retail
sale of products manufactured or processed on site.
Agricultural Commercial
(C6)
Accessory produce and fruit sales; fruit and produce pickers' cabins (if
at least 4 ha); agricultural (intensive if at least 0.8 ha and in the ALR);
agricultural (limited).
Country Residential (CR)
Accommodation of one dwelling unit; office and commerce facilities for
veterinarians; retail sales and servicing of farm and irrigation
equipment, feed and seed, fertilizers, flowers, garden supplies, plants,
produce; service and repair including farmers markets, greenhouses,
hatcheries, livestock auction marts, and nurseries.
Agricultural (restricted if at least 1 ha and a maximum of 3 horses per
ha)
Small Holding (SH)
hatcheries.
xx
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item E.1
City of Vernon (Bylaw #5000, 2003)
Page 90 of 157
agriculture, aquaculture, farmers market, greenhouses, plant nurseries,
agricultural or garden stands, additional agricultural dwellings, animal
clinics, brewing or distilling, wineries and cideries.
agriculture, aquaculture, farmers market, greenhouses, plant nurseries,
agricultural or garden stands, additional agricultural dwellings, animal
clinics, brewing or distilling, wineries and cideries, zoo or botanical
gardens.
Rural - Small Holdings
(A3, A3c)
Agriculture within the
ALR (A1)
Rural - Large Holdings
(A2)
Agricultural, agricultural (intensive), apiculture, aquaculture, farmers
markets, greenhouses, plant nurseries, stables, riding academies,
agricultural or garden stands, additional agricultural dwellings, agritourist accommodations, animal products processing, animal clinics,
brewing or distilling, wineries and cideries.
Light Industrial (I1)
Agriculture, wineries and cideries.
Agricultural (limited); frozen food lockers, cold storage plants.
Comprehensive
Commercial (C7)
Special Use (Heritage)
(S1)
Agricultural (limited)
Service Commercial (C4)
Manufacturing and processing of feed, flour, fruit, grain, agricultural
implements and equipment, chemicals including insecticides;
Agricultural (limited); frozen food lockers, cold storage plants.
Retail sales of farm and irrigation equipment (including service), feed
and seed, fertilizers, flowers, garden supplies, plants, produce;
hatcheries, farmers markets, greenhouses, warehousing.
General Industrial (I2)
Agricultural (intensive); dog kennels, large holding zone home
occupations, resource use.
Large Holding (LH)
and cideries.
12.0 ha
xxi
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item E.1
Greenhouses and plant nurseries
Animal clinic, brewing or distilling, kennels, medical marihuana
production facility, warehouse sales.
Farmers Markets
Rural Residential (RR)
Light Industrial (I1)
Comprehensive
Development Area 1
(CD1)
xxii
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item E.1
Page 91 of 157
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item E.1
Appendix III. RDNO Regional Growth Strategy Goals
RGS Goals that pertain to agriculture include:
GOAL AG‐1: Water is managed sustainably so all reasonable needs, including agriculture, are met in a
balanced manner. The communities of the North Okanagan agree to work as partners and individually
to:
AG‐1.1: encourage water metering systems, where applicable, to ensure the efficient use of water
allocations.
AG‐1.2: collaborate and cooperate with the provincial government and relevant agencies during the
development of policies and methods that encourage more efficient water use.
AG‐1.3: explore opportunities to expand the use of reclaimed water for agriculture in a safe, cost
effective and efficient manner.
AG‐1.4: based upon GOAL WS‐3, explore opportunities for expanding reclaimed agriculture water
infrastructure outside of existing serviced areas.
The actions requested of other governments and agencies are:
AG‐1.5: the province and relevant parties are encouraged to explore the feasibility of a North Okanagan
Agricultural Water Reserve that would provide the appropriate amount of water to agricultural lands in
drought years without compromising stream health or other community needs.
GOAL AG‐2: Maintain and diversify the agricultural land base. The communities of the North Okanagan
agree to work as partners and individually to:
AG‐2.1: through Official Community Plans, discourage the removal or subdivision of Agricultural Land
Reserve (ALR) lands.
AG‐2.2: develop policies that minimize the development (i.e. building) footprint on agricultural lands.
The actions requested of other governments and agencies are:
AG‐2.3: the province and other parties (i.e. utility companies) are encouraged to avoid fragmentation of
agricultural lands when considering projects.
AG‐2.4: the Agricultural Land Commission is encouraged to coordinate with the Regional District of
North Okanagan and member municipalities to ensure consistency between the Regional Growth
Strategy and Agricultural Land Commission decisions and policies.
GOAL AG‐3: Support a robust and diverse agricultural economic sector. The communities of the North
Okanagan agree to work as partners and individually to:
AG‐3.1: create an inventory of existing and potential agri‐industrial operations, infrastructure and lands.
AG‐3.2: consider supporting initiatives that will provide opportunities for new, young or experienced
farmers within the North Okanagan.
AG‐3.3: collaborate on the development of a Regional Agricultural Economic Development Plan that
builds upon the strengths of the North Okanagan and local plans and initiatives.
The actions requested of other governments and agencies are:
AG‐3.4: the province is encouraged to collaborate with farming interests, local governments and other
stakeholders during the identification and creation of new agricultural economic opportunities,
including local added value production, processing, distribution, marketing and agri‐tourism.
Page 92 of 157
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item E.1
GOAL AG‐4: Encourage a healthy, accessible and resilient food system. The communities of the North
Okanagan agree to work as partners and individually to:
AG‐4.1: support and, within the authority of local government, promote environmentally sustainable
agricultural practices.
AG‐4.2: consider developing policies and programs that support urban agriculture and small scale
agriculture as a component of local food security.
AG‐4.3: encourage the creation of Environmental Farm Plans and household, institutional and farm/food
waste composting facilities.
AG‐4.4: support, within the power of local government, the agriculture sector in developing ways to
manage and recover energy from agricultural wastes.
The actions requested of other governments and agencies are:
AG‐4.5: the province is encouraged, through ongoing dialogue, collaboration and cooperation with
relevant stakeholders and local governments, to develop supportive policies that will enhance local,
sustainable agriculture within the North Okanagan.
AG‐4.6: the province is encouraged to collaborate with the local agricultural sector and other
stakeholders on initiatives that raise public agricultural awareness.
AG‐4.7: the province is encouraged to collaborate with local government and agricultural stakeholders
in exploring solutions to regional agricultural issues, such as local agricultural waste disposal, effective
and sustainable agricultural invasive species management and initiatives that would provide
opportunities for young farmers.
Other RGS goals that support agriculture, either directly or indirectly, include:
Urban Containment and Rural Protection
UC‐1.5: support the transformation of key underutilized lands, such as brownfields and greyfields, to
higher density, mixed use areas to complement the development of neigbourhood centers and the
enhancement of existing neighbourhoods.
UC‐1.6: use the policy tools available to local governments to encourage the redevelopment and
revitalization of underutilized lands.
UC‐2.1: designate Rural Protection Boundaries, consistent with the Regional Growth Strategy, within
Official Community Plans for the purpose of protecting lands within the Rural
Protection Area. Lands designated as Rural Protection Areas are intended to accommodate low density
development on larger (1 hectare and greater) parcels of land that are not serviced with both
community water and sewer systems
UC‐2.2: In order to reduce rural sprawl and encourage more sustainable forms of rural subdivision, an
Official Community Plan may make provision to allow for smaller minimum parcel sizes in the Rural
Protection Area provided there is no increase in the overall density (i.e. clustering), that the new parcels
can be served with potable water and wastewater disposal systems in a sustainable manner and the
conservation of residual lands in perpetuity for agricultural, ecological or public good purposes. Options
for alternative forms of development shall be consistent with the policies of the Regional Growth
Strategy.
UC‐2.7: protect the character of rural areas: Rural Protections Areas contain a variety of lands with
natural resource value including agriculture and forestry. These lands have historically played a
significant role in shaping North Okanagan character and identity, offering rural lifestyle choice, as well
as providing important economic benefits. Their long term viability and productivity is increasingly
threatened by urban encroachment and the spread of incompatible land uses.
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Water Stewardship
WS‐2.1: consider coordinating Water Management Plans and Drought Management Plans with a
consideration of the variability of surface and ground water supplies. Harmonizing local Drought
Management Plans should be considered.
Economic Development
ED‐2.1: explore initiatives that support continued economic diversification, including value added,
community based business development, green jobs and sustainable industries.
Transportation and Infrastructure
TI‐2.11: continue to promote rail freight, in collaboration with the province and federal government, as
a viable goods movement option.
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Appendix V Soil Maps
[TO BE INSERTED]
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RDNORegionalAgriculturalAreaPlan
MarketOpportunitiesAnalysis
Su Submitted by: Upland Consulting January 14, 2015 Page 97 of 157
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TableofContents
Acknowledgements .......................................................................................................................................................... v Acronyms .......................................................................................................................................................................... vi Executive Summary ........................................................................................................................................................... 1 Introduction ...................................................................................................................................................................... 2 Scope and Intent ............................................................................................................................................................... 3 Methodology .................................................................................................................................................................... 4 Stakeholder Engagement Strategy ............................................................................................................................... 4 Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee (RAAC) Meetings ...................................................................................... 4 Regional Food System Workshop ................................................................................................................................. 5 Open Houses ................................................................................................................................................................ 5 Focus Group Sessions ................................................................................................................................................... 6 Surveys and Interviews ................................................................................................................................................ 6 Literature Review and Secondary Research ................................................................................................................. 7 Economic Indicators ............................................................................................................ Error! Bookmark not defined. Community Overview .................................................................................................................................................. 8 Employment Trends ..................................................................................................................................................... 8 Community Support for Agriculture ............................................................................................................................. 9 Agriculture Market Analysis ............................................................................................................................................ 13 BC Agrifoods Sector Outlook ...................................................................................................................................... 13 Outlook for the RDNO Agricultural Sector ................................................................................................................. 14 Current Situation ................................................................................................................................................... 14 Food Self‐Sufficiency ............................................................................................................................................. 14 Market Potential ................................................................................................................................................... 14 Key Issues and Opportunities .......................................................................................................................................... 15 1) Biophysical considerations ..................................................................................................................................... 15 2) Marketing and branding ........................................................................................................................................ 17 3) Costs of doing business and the need for (re)investment ..................................................................................... 19 4) Transportation and distribution ............................................................................................................................. 20 5) Access to skilled and affordable labour ................................................................................................................. 21 6) Expansion of niche and value‐added products ...................................................................................................... 22 7) The regional tourism market ................................................................................................................................. 23 8) Regulatory challenges ............................................................................................................................................ 24 Marketing Boards and Quotas .............................................................................................................................. 24 Meat Inspection Regulation (MIR) and Class E Pilot Project ................................................................................. 25 GMOs and Use of Chemicals ................................................................................................................................. 26 9) Innovation, research, and education ..................................................................................................................... 27 Summary of Challenges and Opportunities .................................................................................................................... 28 Success Stories ................................................................................................................................................................ 30 Conclusion....................................................................................................................................................................... 32 Page 99 of 157
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TableofTables
Table 1. Population projections for the RDNO ................................................................................ 8 Table 2. Net ALR loss between 1974 and 2013. ............................................................................ 10 Table 3. Amount of ALR lost between 1974 and 2013 in various regional districts...................... 10 Table 4. Farming plans for the next 5 years. ................................................................................. 20 Table 5. Summary of challenges and opportunities. ..................................................................... 28 TableofFigures
Figure 1. Local apple juice for sale at Swan Lake nursery …………………………………………………………..2 Figure 2. Regional Food System Workshop participant ……..………………………………….……………………4 Figure 3. Regional Food System workshop invitation ………………………………………………………………….5 Figure 4. RAAP booth at the Vernon Farmers Market …………………………………………………………………6 Figure 5. Discussing the RAAP at the Armstrong Farmers Market ………………………………………………7 Figure 6. Local cheese for sale in Armstrong ………………………………………………………………………………9 Figure 7. Productive farmland near Cherryville …………………………………………………………………………10 Figure 8. Polyhouses on a farm near Mara ……………………………………………………………………………….11 Figure 9. Community members discussing agriculture in the North Okanagan …………………………12 Figure 10. Dairy farm outside of Enderby …………………………………………………………………………………13 Figure 11. Active farming near Spallumcheen …………………………………………………………………………..15 Figure 12. Irrigated fields in Spallumcheen ……………………………………………………………………………….16 Figure 13. Fieldstone Organics products on display at Swan Lake Nursery ……………………………….17 Figure 14. Cheese making facility in Armstrong ………………………………………………………..………………21 Figure 15. Value‐added farm products for sale in Vernon ………………………………………………………..22 Figure 16. Davison Orchards in Vernon …………………………………………………………………………………….23 Figure 17. Sign displayed at a Vernon‐area restaurant …………………………………………………………….25 Page 100 of 157
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Acknowledgements
The Regional District of North Okanagan Agricultural Area Plan is a strategy and policy framework document, resulting from a regional planning initiative led by the Regional District of the North Okanagan (RDNO) in collaboration with: Ione Smith, P.Ag. Upland Consulting Andrea Lawseth, P.Ag. AEL Agroecological Consulting the “Consulting Team” Janine de la Salle Urban Food Strategies Brooke Marshall The project was initiated and coordinated by the RDNO Planning Department, which included securing a 50/50 match funding agreement with the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC. Project coordination, key input into the plan, and in‐kind support were provided by the Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee. Local citizens, stakeholders and participants of public meetings and focus groups also provided invaluable input and feedback, for which the authors express much gratitude. Images used in this document are used with permission from Ione Smith and Andrea Lawseth, unless otherwise indicated. Not for duplication or distribution. All rights reserved. This project was funded in part by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC through programs it delivers on behalf of Agriculture and Agri‐Food Canada and the BC Ministry of Agriculture. Agriculture and Agri‐Food Canada, the BC Ministry of Agriculture and the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC, are pleased to participate in the delivery of this project. We are committed to working with our partners to address issues of importance to the agriculture and agri‐food industry in British Columbia. Opinions expressed in this report are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Agriculture and Agri‐Food Canada, the BC Ministry of Agriculture and the Investment Agriculture Foundation Page 101 of 157
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Acronyms
AAFC AFIS AGRI ALC ALR ARDCorp BCAA BCAC BCEMB BCMMB BC MPA BCMoE CFIA CLI CSA FIRB FPPA GDP GMO GVW GVWU IAF IHA LGA LTSA LUI MIR MOA OCP PHSA RAAC RAAP REF RDNO RGS SRW SSFPA SWOT UBCM WDM WWOOF Agriculture and Agri‐Food Canada Armstrong Food Initiative Society BC Ministry of Agriculture Agricultural Land Commission Agricultural Land Reserve Agriculture Research and Development Corporation BC Assessment Authority BC Agriculture Council BC Egg Marketing Board BC Milk Marketing Board BC Milk Producers Association BC Ministry of Environment Canadian Food Inspection Agency Canadian Land Inventory Community Supported Agriculture Farm Industry Review Board Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act Gross Domestic Product Genetically Modified Organisms Greater Vernon Water Greater Vernon Water Utility Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC Interior Health Authority Local Government Act Land Title and Survey Authority of BC Land Use Inventory Meat Inspection Regulation Market Opportunities Analysis Official Community Plan Provincial Health Services Authority Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee Regional Agricultural Area Plan Real Estate Foundation Regional District of North Okanagan Regional Growth Strategy Shuswap River Watershed Small Scale Food Processor Association Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats Union of BC Municipalities Water Demand Model Willing Workers on Organic Farms
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ExecutiveSummary
This Market Opportunities Analysis (MOA) helps to identify opportunities for the local food and farming businesses in the Regional District of the North Okanagan (RDNO) to thrive and contribute to a resilient local economy. It was developed using literature reviews and research; online and paper surveys; one‐on‐
one interviews with local key stakeholders; feedback from a Regional Food System Workshop; Open Houses; and two Focus Group sessions. The MOA is a working document that is meant to be used in conjunction with the Background Report, in order to create the final Regional Agricultural Area Plan (RAAP). The population of the RDNO is approximately 81,000 individuals, which is expected to increase to close to 105,000 by the year 2031. There is strong community support for agriculture in the RDNO, indicated by the nearly 60% of community survey respondents claimed that they would be willing to pay a premium for locally‐sourced foods in order to support local farmers. In addition to access to fresh, local food, the majority of all survey respondents associated farming with green space, a rural lifestyle, and scenic values. According to the BC Ministry of Agriculture, the total farmland area is 84,339 ha (up from 76,624 ha in 2006), suggesting that land outside of the ALR is also being farmed and the amount of land lost from the ALR since it was designated in 1974 is relatively low when compared to other regions in areas of high population growth. The agricultural sector contributes 1,805 jobs in the RDNO (4.6%), and the number of farm operators rose from 1,715 in 2001 to 1,770 in 2011, indicating that the agricultural sector is fairly stable in the region and may be attracting new entrants. It is important to note though, that the number of operators over the age of 55 increased from 900 in 2001 to 1,020 in 2011, while the number of operators under the age of 35 decreased from 100 to 70 in that same time period. The RDNO is currently only 20% food self‐sufficient based to the amount of land currently under cultivation and irrigated. This, combined with the community support for purchasing local products indicates ample room for the agricultural sector to expand in terms of production to meet local food needs. The fact that much of the food being produced in the region is exported to other parts of BC, Canada, and abroad also impacts the resiliency of the local food system. A number of challenges and key issues have been identified through the Regional Food System Workshop, Open Houses and Focus Group sessions. The list of top issues, in no particular order, is: 1. Biophysical considerations (including climate, soils, water, invasive species) 2. Marketing and branding 3. Costs of doing business and the need for (re)investment 4. Transportation and distribution 5. Access to skilled and affordable labour 6. Expansion of niche and value‐added products 7. The regional tourism market 8. Regulatory challenges 9. Innovation, research, and education Opportunities and solutions to overcome these challenges were also identified by stakeholders and a summary of these has been provided within the MOA. Local and regional government have a lot to offer new and existing farmers with robust agriculture‐related infrastructure and services, a supportive consumer and agriculture community and partnerships with academic institutions that could be further enhanced. While there are a number of challenges to be addressed through policy recommendations and consumer engagement, there is room for growth and a keen interest in preserving the sector. Page 103 of 157
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Introduction
The purpose of this Market Opportunities Analysis (MOA) is to identify opportunities for agriculture to thrive and contribute to the economic sustainability of the North Okanagan region. It uses results from research and stakeholder consultation to determine challenges and opportunities for the Regional Agricultural Area Plan (RAAP). It was developed using the following tools: 1. Literature review and research; 2. Responses from two surveys (one for farmers and one for community members); 3. Results from one‐on‐one interviews with local key stakeholders in the agricultural community; 4. Feedback from the Regional Food System workshop, two open houses, and two focus group sessions; and 5. A high level calculation of annual food demand and associated potential revenue for the North Okanagan region and area farmers. Figure 18. Local apple juice for sale at Swan Lake nursery. This report is a working document and it is meant to be used in conjunction with the Background Report to provide important direction towards completing the final RAAP. The MOA is structured using the following subsections:  Scope and intent  Community overview  Snapshot of agriculture in the North Okanagan  Stakeholder engagement methodology  Summary of survey and interview feedback  Global, national, and provincial market context  Capacity for market expansion  Discussion of key issues and opportunities  Success stories  Summary of key issues and opportunities Page 104 of 157
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ScopeandIntent
It is intended that the issues and opportunities brought forth in this report will be discussed and debated within the regional agricultural community. Some of the issues and opportunities will lead to recommended actions within the final Regional Agricultural Area Plan (RAAP). Feedback from these discussions will be used in conjunction with the Background Report and this MOA to provide important direction towards completing the final RAAP. Therefore, the MOA is intended to be used as a foundation document in conjunction with the Background Report, upon which the final RAAP will be created. It is important to note that, while the document has been developed for the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO), it is not the responsibility of the RDNO to accept, adopt, endorse, or accommodate any or all of the issues, opportunities, or trends included within the MOA. The RAAP will represent a community endeavor and as a result it will require the effort of many individuals and organizations in the region to succeed. This MOA completes the following Objectives listed in the RAAP’s Terms of Reference: Project outcomes fulfilled by the MOA include:  Identify and explore current issues and opportunities relating to agriculture;  Engage stakeholders to contribute to a comprehensive action plan that is reflective of their input; and  Identify opportunities and policies that will support and enhance the economic sustainability and resilience of the agricultural industry. Specific project objectives fulfilled by the MOA include:  To identify agricultural issues, trends, opportunities, and challenges facing the agricultural industry; and  To develop strategies and policies to take advantage of opportunities and mitigate challenges. The term “sustainable agriculture” is used throughout this report. For consistency, the definition of “sustainable agriculture” as it appears in the Township of Spallumcheen Agricultural Plan is used: “A sustainable agriculture is one that, over the long term, enhances environmental quality and the resource base on which agriculture depends; provides for basic human food and fiber needs; is economically viable; and enhances the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.”1 Township of Spallumcheen Agricultural Plan. Phase 2 Report: Issues and Opportunities. 2006. 1
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Methodology
StakeholderEngagementStrategy
Facilitating meaningful dialogue amongst stakeholders across the North Okanagan was a critical goal at the outset of the plan. Community planning exercises are dynamic, sometimes contentious, with different parties bringing diverse viewpoints and interests to the table. A stakeholder engagement strategy was designed to be fair, inclusive, and considerate of these differing perspectives. To effectively engage the North Okanagan community throughout the development of the Figure 19. Regional Food System Workshop participant. RAAP, a number of tools were used. These included regular meetings with the Regional Agricultural Advisory Committee (RAAC), open houses, online and paper‐based surveys, interviews, focus group sessions, and presence at local community events. This strategy allowed numerous community members to provide input into the Plan and helped to ensure all voices were heard. Key stakeholders were also identified early in the process to ensure that the right people were being consulted with regards to the plan. These stakeholders were represented on the RAAC as well as through other community and farmer groups. The stakeholder engagement process also included educational components such as interactive presentations, handouts, posters and web content, in order to assist stakeholders in providing informed input about long term land use and community development. Stakeholders, agricultural producers, and community members were paramount in helping to:  Identify barriers and opportunities for agriculture;  Gain valuable insights and information from various representatives of the agricultural and food community;  Engage participants in meaningful conversations on agricultural planning and initiatives; and  Use all input and feedback to develop appropriate and relevant policy and implementation recommendations. RegionalAgriculturalAdvisoryCommittee(RAAC)Meetings
The RAAC is consulted regularly and as such has a key role in steering the development of the plan. The RAAC was consulted at critical points throughout the process by being presented with Page 106 of 157
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updates on the RAAP at RAAC meetings either by RDNO staff or by in‐person presentations by members of the consulting team. RegionalFoodSystemWorkshop
A Regional Food System Workshop was held on February 18, 2014. The day‐long workshop involved stakeholders representing the majority of food system participants from around the North Okanagan, including Armstrong, Vernon, Spallumcheen, Lumby, Enderby and Coldstream. The workshop was made possible, as an additional component of the RAAP, through the Healthy Communities Grant from the Interior Health Authority (IHA). Those invited to the workshop were chosen due to their role as designated industry representatives, business owners or their representatives, community organization leaders, food system service providers or representative of community economic and tourism interests that are involved with agriculture and food access promotion. A postcard was developed, printed, and mailed to each invitee. Phone calls and follow‐up emails were also used to encourage attendance. Of those 60 invited, 24 indicated that they would be in attendance, and on the day of the workshop, 18 attended. Participants represented two Farmers Market Associations, the Okanagan Indian Band, the Organic Growers Association, IHA, the Armstrong Food Initiative, the Food Action Society, the Salvation Army/ Vernon Food Bank, Community Kitchens, Vernon Tourism, the North Okanagan Gleaners Figure 20. Regional Food System workshop invitation.
Association, as well as several producers from the region. The commitment of time and input from the participants demonstrated both the importance of the food system to the overall health, viability and identity of agriculture in the North Okanagan, as well as the importance of continued successes in the enhancement and promotion of the food system by each individual participant. Results from the Regional Food System Workshop were used to inform early focus and scope for the RAAP and to develop a framework for the survey and first Focus Group session. OpenHouses
An open house is an opportunity for a larger group of people to interact in the agricultural planning conversation. This includes both presenting information to local residents and stakeholders and facilitating exercises that gather information in return. The first series of open houses occurred in conjunction with the Vernon and Armstrong Farmers’ Markets in May 2014. RDNO staff and the consulting team set up booths at both events as a way to present the intention of the RAAP to the public and allow an opportunity to meet the consultant team. Shoppers at the Farmers’ Markets were asked to fill out community surveys and farmers/vendors were asked to fill out the farmer surveys. There was an excellent response rate at both of these events, which was helpful in framing the key issues, challenges and Page 107 of 157
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opportunities in the North Okanagan region. A second round of open houses will be held later in the process to present the draft RAAP to members of the public for comment and input. FocusGroupSessions
Focus Group Sessions provide an opportunity for key stakeholders to provide in‐depth discussion on key priorities for the RAAP, vision, and Figure 21. RAAP booth at the Vernon Farmers Market.
overview of an initial strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis for the MOA. The first Focus Group session was held in May 2014 and included eight participants who helped review the results of the Regional Food System Workshop and refine the list of key challenges and opportunities facing the farming community in the region. They represented a diversity of producers (poultry, beef, sheep, vegetable production and dairy) as well as processors (Rogers Food and North Okanagan Poultry Processing). The second Focus Group was held in November 2014, prior to the development of the draft RAAP. Over 30 participants attended this day‐long session to refine the vision statement, key RAAP objectives, and discuss recommendations and pilot projects. SurveysandInterviews
Electronic and hard copy surveys were developed to solicit feedback on support for local food production, potential economic/policy opportunities, alternatives, and strategies. Two survey versions were created to best target the interests of farmers and community members. Hard copies of the survey were distributed in person at the Vernon and Armstrong farmers markets in May 2014 and were made available at other events in the community. The surveys were also made available online to enable members of the interested public to provide input on a range of key issues outside of, or in addition to, formal meetings and public events. The surveys were open for respondents to submit from May 23, 2014 to August 1, 2014. The survey received over 400 responses. Of these, farmers provided 122 responses. Input received was used to develop the list of issues and opportunities for this MOA and to refine the list of key priorities for the RAAP. It is important to note that the survey participants do not represent a random sample due to the fact that they were able to self‐select on their choice to fill out the survey (i.e. participation was voluntary). Key findings from the surveys are included in the body of this report. Interviews were conducted one‐on‐one by phone or in person with a select number of producers and processors who did not attend the first Focus Group and/or who did not Page 108 of 157
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complete a survey. These interviews are ongoing and will continue to be used to inform the priorities and recommendations developed in the RAAP. LiteratureReviewandSecondaryResearch
A number of reports and documents were consulted in developing this MOA. These include Statistics Canada Census reports, the Agricultural Census, background documents developed for the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS), as well as reports published by the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) and BC Ministry of Agriculture documents. All data sources are listed as footnotes and in the References section. Figure 22. Discussing the RAAP at the Armstrong Farmers Market. Page 109 of 157
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EconomicIndicators
CommunityOverview
The RDNO is a federation of six municipalities (City of Armstrong, District of Coldstream, City of Enderby, Village of Lumby, Township of Spallumcheen and City of Vernon) and five Electoral Areas (B, C, D, E, and F) that work collaboratively to enhance the environmental, social and economic well‐being of the residents and communities it serves. According to the 2011 Stats Canada census there were 81,237 individuals living in 38,208 private dwellings in the RDNO in 20112. Of those dwellings, 33,747 were occupied by usual residents. This represents an average number of 2.7 persons per census family. The total area of the RDNO is 7,503 km2 with an average population density of 10.8 people/km2. Approximately 65% of the RDNO population resides in the Greater Vernon area. The population is expected to rise to close to 105,000 by 20313. Table 1. Population projections for the RDNO Jurisdiction RDNO Electoral Area B Electoral Area C Electoral Area D Electoral Area E Electoral Area F Vernon Lumby Armstrong Coldstream Enderby Spallumcheen 2006 2011
2016
2021
2026
2031 78,877 3,211 3,947 2,837 934 4,091 35,944 1,634 4,241 9,471 2,828 4,960 85,023
3,260
4,125
2,880
949
4,141
41,400
1,713
4,645
10,200
3,087
5,111
90,191
3,300
4,291
2,914
962
4,178
44,300
1,787
5,036
10,899
3,336
5,246
95,199
3,336
4,445
2,946
973
4,212
47,200
1,856
5,399
11,549
3,569
5,372
99,975
3,377
4,618
2,981
986
4,251
49,600
1,933
5,809
12,281
3,830
5,514
104,233 3,416 4,783 3,015 999
4,288 51,600 2,007 6,198 12,978 4,079 5,649 % Growth/y
ear 1.12 0.25 0.77 0.24 0.27 0.19 1.45 0.82 1.52 1.26 1.46 0.52 EmploymentTrends
The most recent labour and employment figures for the RDNO are from 2006. At that time there was a total labour force of 39,400 individuals and an average income of $36,400 (using 2009 income data). The main economic drivers of the North Okanagan region are retail trade, medical services, and construction. In 2006, the majority of employment was in the following sectors:  Retail trade (12.7% of labour force)  Health care and assistance (11.3% of labour force)  Manufacturing (11.1% of the labour force)  Construction (10.3% of labour force) 2
Community Statistics for the Regional District of North Okanagan. Statistics Canada, 2011 Census Data. Note that these figures vary slightly from the population projection figures used in the Regional Growth Strategy. Regional District of North Okanagan Regional Growth Strategy, 2011. 3
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Agriculture4 represented 1,805 (4.6%) jobs. In conjunction with food and beverage manufacturing5 this number rose to 2,370 (6.0%) jobs. Within that category, the number of farm operators increased from 1,715 in 2001 to 1,770 in 2011, indicating that the agricultural sector is fairly stable in the region and may be attracting new entrants. However, these new entrants are not necessarily young. The number of operators over the age of 55 climbed from 900 in 2001 to 1,020 in 2011, while the number of operators under the age of 35 decreased from 100 in 2001 to 70 in 2011. Despite the relatively low proportion of jobs, the sector provides local and regional economic benefits, as well as opportunities for local access to agricultural produce and products. The North Okanagan Food Security Assessment and Action Plan found that in 2005, agriculture contributed 3.3% to the regional economy. In 2007, the Action Plan identified 50 local wholesalers, 36 mainstream retail outlets and 18 alternative retailers, which indicated a variety of Figure 23. Local cheese for sale in Armstrong.
avenues for the sale of local food products. In 2011, total gross farm receipts in the RDNO were estimated to be worth over $126 million (Statistics Canada 2011). The BC Government regularly provides employment projections on a regional basis. The RDNO falls within the Okanagan College Region for these projections6. According to the latest figures, there is a 1.3% annual growth in employment demand for all sectors in the region, which compares to 1.8% provincially. Projected annual growth rates in occupational demand for agriculture is 1.7% from 2010 to 2015 for the region. This category includes contractors, operators, and supervisors in agriculture, horticulture, and aquaculture, farmers and farm managers, general farm workers, and nursery and greenhouse workers. CommunitySupportforAgriculture
The RDNO has a total area of 750,260 ha, of which 65,124 ha (or 8.7%) is in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). This represents 39% of all ALR lands in the Okanagan. Most of the ALR is located 4
“Agriculture” includes those jobs associated with crop production, animal production, support activities for crop and animal production “Food and beverage manufacturing” includes food manufacturing, beverage and tobacco product manufacturing 6
BC Stats, 2012. BC Regional Employment Projections: Okanagan College Region (2010‐ 2015) 5
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in the valley bottoms where non‐
farm development pressure is greatest. According to the BC Ministry of Agriculture, total farmland area is 84,339 ha (up from 76,624 ha in 2006), whereas land in the ALR is 65124 ha. This suggests that land outside of the ALR is also being farmed. Since 1974, the RDNO has lost a net amount of 5,160 ha of ALR lands7. That figure includes a decrease by approximately 800 hectares since 2001, mainly due to ALR boundary reviews Figure 24. Productive farmland near Cherryville. conducted in Electoral Areas D and E (2001) and Electoral Areas B, C, and F (2009). Table 2. Net ALR loss between 1974 and 2013. ALR area at designation (1974)
Land included in the ALR since 1974
Land excluded from the ALR since 1974
Net ALR (2013) 70,283 ha
+ 1,569 ha
‐ 6,728 ha
= 65,124 ha
The amount of land lost from the ALR since it was designated in 1974 is relatively low compared to other regions in areas of high population growth. This is one indication of the high level of support for farming and the ALR that exists in the North Okanagan. Table 3. Amount of ALR lost between 1974 and 2013 in various regional districts. Regional District North Okanagan
Central Okanagan
Okanagan‐Smilikameen
Capital Metro Vancouver
Fraser Valley
Columbia Shuswap
Nanaimo Net amount of ALR (%) lost between 1974 and 2013 7.3
17.6
3.0
16.3
8.8
6.7
19.1
11.1
7
Agricultural Land Commission Annual Report 2012‐2013 (http://www.alc.gov.bc.ca/alc/DownloadAsset?assetId=E0C668B7799E4DA5AC52015EC873B050&filename=annual_report_2012‐
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Another indication of high support for agriculture is that during the recent development of the RDNO’s RGS. As part of that process, a Quality of Life survey was conducted in 2013 and was completed by over 1,400 residents. Survey respondents rated Agriculture & Food Systems as the second‐best policy area after Environment & Natural Lands. The RGS agriculture and food system polices were recommended, through consensus, by a Working Group that included agricultural producers, urban agriculture organizations, educational institutions and local, regional and provincial staff. The vision statement for the RGS explicitly highlights the importance of agriculture within the RDNO community: The RDNO is a unique region that will continue to be recognized for its diverse natural habitats, robust economies, outstanding recreational opportunities and the high quality of urban and rural lifestyles provided in established communities. As such, the Regional Board will strive to conserve and enhance the very reasons that make the North Okanagan so attractive by ensuring:  Growth is managed to reflect our social, environmental and economic values;  The Region’s natural constraints to growth are water availability, agricultural lands, and environmentally‐sensitive areas;  Rural and urban lifestyle choices are maintained through designated growth areas and urban boundary management;  Agricultural lands are protected and a sustainable regional food system is supported and encouraged;  A strong, sustainable, and diverse economy that reflects our values and the identities of our communities;  Our natural systems, including air, land and water, are respected and protected; and  Inclusive, accountable and effective governance based upon a foundation of regional cooperation. As such, undertaking the RAAP was the priority RGS implementation project for 2014/2015. The preparation of the RAAP builds upon previous food system work undertaken in the region8 and is significant for the ongoing economic development and community health of the North Okanagan. The results from the RAAP’s Community Survey also provides an indication of the strong level of support for local food production in the region. A full 36% of respondents said that they had “above average” or Figure 25. Polyhouses on a farm near Mara.
“very high” knowledge levels regarding agriculture in the North Okanagan. Over 78% are familiar with farmers markets in the See the North Okanagan Food Security Assessment and Action Plan (2007) and the North Okanagan Food System Plan (2009). 8
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RDNO and 44% are aware of the North Okanagan Food Action Society events. In terms of supporting local producers, 47% responded that they buy local “sometimes” and another 35% buy local “always.” Many members of the community are members of organizations that support local agriculture either directly or indirectly. The list of organizations mentioned in the survey results include:  4‐H Club  Master Gardeners of the Okanagan  Armstrong Food Initiative Society  Monashee Garden Club volunteer  Monashee Community Co‐op  BeeSAFE  North Okanagan Community  Central Okanagan Food Policy Kitchens Council  North Okanagan Food Action  Cherryville Garden Club Society volunteer  Community Futures  North Okanagan Naturalist Club  Community Garden member  North Okanagan Organic Association  Community Supported Agriculture  Okanagan Farm Fresh member  Patchwork Farms  East Hill Community Garden  Pesticide Free Lumby  Enderby Garden Club  Radical Action with Migrants in  Food bank/gleaners Agriculture  GMO Free  Seed Savers  Good Food Box program volunteer  Vernon & District Garden Club  Kindale  Seed exchange  Lumby Garden Club  The Sustainable Environment Network Society  Vernon Permaculture  Young Agrarians
Figure 26. Community members discussing agriculture in the North Okanagan.
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In addition to access to fresh, local food, the majority of all survey respondents associated farming with green space, a rural lifestyle, and scenic values. Nearly 60% of respondents claimed that they would be willing to pay a premium for locally‐sourced foods in order to support local farmers. These results all point to a regional source of consumers who are knowledgeable and supportive of agriculture and who are interested and willing to buy products that have been grown and crafted locally. AgricultureMarketAnalysis
BCAgrifoodsSectorOutlook
In 2012, B.C. agricultural and seafood exports went to over 130 countries and represented $2.5 billion in economic activity. BC’s advantage includes the diversity of its agrifoods commodities. North Okanagan agriculture therefore operates within the context of a global marketplace. The Economic Forecast Council expects BC’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will grow by 1.6 % in 2013 and 2.5 % in 20149. Risks to the economic outlook include the a further slowing of domestic economic activity; renewed weakness in the US economy; the ongoing European sovereign debt crisis threatening the stability of global financial markets; exchange rate volatility; and slower than anticipated economic growth in Asia dampening demand for BC’s exports. By 2030, Canada is expected to be one of only a handful of countries exporting more food than it imports10. However, a strong Canadian dollar and the high costs of energy and other inputs have placed pressure on the agricultural sector. International and national competitors, with similar or lower costs and larger economies of scale, will likely continue to squeeze profit margins for BC’s producers and processors. In 2011, BC’s agriculture and processing sectors (which include fisheries and aquaculture) provided almost 61,000 jobs and $10.9 billion in annual revenue. The BC Government has issued a 2017 target of $14 billion of annual revenue11. Figure 27. Dairy farm outside of Enderby. Growing support in B.C. for locally produced food is leading to changes in eating habits and consumer choices. These changes have contributed to the number of farmers’ markets across B.C. increasing from about 100 to almost 150 with total direct sales also increasing by approximately 150% between 2006 and 2012. BC Ministry of Agriculture Service Plan: 2013‐2014. Ibid. 11
Ibid. 9
10
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OutlookfortheRDNOAgriculturalSector
CurrentSituation
Currently, the RDNO contains approximately 65,000 ha of land within the ALR, but the area actively farmed in the region is roughly 84,300 ha according to Statistics Canada 2011 data12. This indicates that land outside of the ALR is available for agriculture and actively in production. The current population of the RDNO is approximately 85,000 and is expected to reach nearly 105,000 by 203113. In order to measure food self‐sufficiency, the BC Ministry of Agriculture developed a Food Self‐Reliance model, which estimates that 0.524 ha of land (irrigated and non‐irrigated) is required to produce an adequate and healthy diet for one person to live for one year14. FoodSelf‐Sufficiency
Using the indicators above, in order to be self‐sufficient with the current population in the region, a total of 44,550 ha of land would need to be under cultivation and irrigated. By comparison, the 2011 Census of Agriculture noted that only 8,960 ha were reported being irrigated in the RDNO.15 This corresponds to only 20% self‐sufficiency, indicating room for the agricultural sector to expand in terms of production to meet local food needs. This figure is likely a gross overestimate due to the fact that much of the food being produced is shipped out of the region. Therefore we can assume that actual regional food self‐
sufficiency is below 20%. Using population predictions, the number of irrigated hectares will need to grow to 53,711 ha by 2031. If the number of irrigated parcels under production doesn’t grow, then status quo figures indicate that the self‐sufficiency rating will drop to 16% or lower by 2031. MarketPotential
In 2006, the average household (2.4 persons) in BC consumed $8,000 in food per year, or $3,333 per person per household16. The most recent Statistics Canada data indicates that there are an average of 2.7 persons in RDNO households, therefore the estimated annual household spending on food is $9,000. There are 33,747 households being occupied in the RDNO, suggesting that over $303.7 million is spent annually on food in the RDNO. The total farm gate receipts for the region in 2011 was $126.2 million. Therefore, if all the income made by RDNO producers was from sales made to North Okanagan residents, it would still only satisfy about 42% of the regional spending on food. Given the diversity of food being produced in the region this represents a real opportunity for local farms to invest in their businesses and expand their production levels. The 2011 Agricultural Census Report ‐ Summaries by Region: BC Ministry of Agriculture, 2013. Community Statistics, Regional District of North Okanagan Regional Growth Strategy, 2011. 14
BC’s Food Self Reliance Report. BC Ministry of Agriculture, 2006. 15
The 2011 Agricultural Census. Cansim tables derived by query through the Statistics Canada website. Accessed 2014. The 12
13
number of irrigated hectares may in fact be higher, as the Census data is self‐reported, however the amount of irrigated land is still likely much lower than that necessary to sustain the population in food. Vancouver Island Coast Regional Agriculture Framework for Action. Harasymchuk and Rolston, 2012. http://www.firb.gov.bc.ca/documentation/supervisory_reviews/f_vi_coast_agriculture_framework_2012.pdf 16
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KeyIssuesandOpportunities
Based on discussions with stakeholders at the Regional Food System Workshop, Open Houses, Focus Group sessions, results from both the community member and farmer surveys, and the literature review, several key issues have emerged. A discussion of each of these issues along with potential opportunities associated with the issues is presented in this section. The list of issues, in no particular order, is: 1. Biophysical considerations (including climate, soils, water, invasive species) 2. Marketing and branding 3. Costs of doing business and the need for (re)investment 4. Transportation and distribution 5. Access to skilled and affordable labour 6. Expansion of niche and value‐added products 7. The regional tourism market 8. Regulatory challenges 9. Innovation, research, and education Context is provided for each issue, along with a discussion of challenges and opportunities for each. 1)Biophysicalconsiderations
The North Okanagan region has a relatively moderate climate, highly fertile land, and more growing degree days than most regions of BC. As long as irrigation water can be accessed, the region is well‐
suited to growing a wide variety of crops and is one of the more productive growing regions in Canada. Most farmers who replied to the survey agree that the North Okanagan has great climate and soils for growing food. There is some concern amongst producers as to how they will adapt to climate change, or how the younger generation of farmers will cope with changing climate regimes. Continued access to irrigation water is a concern for many farmers. As part of the consultation process, farmers were asked to identify any specific biophysical constraints on their farms. The top response from farmers was high irrigation needs coupled with seasonal water scarcity challenges. If agricultural production is to expand to meet the needs of a growing population, the sources of irrigation water for producers will need to be secured. Many indicated that the water rates are too high (or that Figure 28. Active farming near Spallumcheen. 15 Page 117 of 157
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there are not lower rates for farmers) and that rights to water access and licensing is grandfathered, so new water licenses can be hard to come by. Most farms in the region are located either within the Okanagan watershed or the Shuswap River Watershed (SRW). Details of surface and groundwater resources in these basins are provided in the Background Report. Irrigation accounts for a significant amount of surface water and groundwater consumption through the Okanagan and Shuswap River watersheds. There are more than 1,200 licenses for Figure 29. Irrigated fields in Spallumcheen.
surface water use in the SRW recorded with the BC MoE. More than 95% of the allocated water is licensed to agricultural use for irrigation and water utility use for irrigation and water works. Summer water consumption within the SRW is up to 2.5 times higher than the annual average use due to agricultural and domestic irrigation. As such, in‐stream flows are significantly reduced during the late summer and early fall. Surface water availability is further compounded by a trend of lower summer flows over the last 30 years attributed to climate change. The groundwater use in the Lower Shuswap River was estimated to be as high as 44% of total groundwater flow, due to withdrawals from private wells and municipal water wells. Irrigation for agriculture in the Greater Vernon Area is within the Okanagan watershed and uses approximately 80% of the water supplied by Greater Vernon Water Utility (GVWU). The 2012 GVWU Master Water Plan proposed changes to this water service, however a referendum conducted in November 2014 failed to garner support for borrowing funds to expand the water service, which would have involved the creation of a twinned water main to provide irrigation water to agricultural users in Lavington and Coldstream, increasing the size of the irrigation main line, and the addition of a pump station for agricultural water supply. The City of Vernon provides reclaimed water from the Greater Vernon Water Reclamation Centre to a small number of agricultural lands. Data provided in the RGS Monitoring and Evaluation Report (2014) reflects this and indicates that only a small portion (approximately 10%) of the irrigated area in the North Okanagan uses reclaimed water from the community water system. Most producers are using on‐
site water sources for irrigation. This water system is separate from that included in the irrigation water system expansion proposal, which is the subject of the referendum. The Master Water Plan indicates that integration of this small water system may be considered, but it is discussed in greater depth in the Liquid Waste Management Plan (2013), undertaken by the City of Vernon. Almost every summer during the height of the growing season, the North Okanagan experiences some level of water scarcity. Since 2005, many communities within the Greater Vernon area of the RDNO have started installing water meters and an agricultural water‐metering program has been in place in the GVWU area since 2008, when it was initiated as a pilot project. 16 Page 118 of 157
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There is a general lack of knowledge amongst producers regarding agricultural water sources and purveyors, consumption rates, pricing, licencing, and the relationships between regulatory agencies and the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB). The North Okanagan community benefits from in‐depth research conducted by the OBWB on the use of water by farmers in the area, and a priority project area for the Water Stewardship Council of the OBWB, with assistance from agricultural industry representatives, has been the research into balancing agricultural water use, protection of necessary irrigation volumes and ensuring water access be balanced between all water uses in the Okanagan watershed. Receiving information related to the resources such as the Water Demand Model and other research can be a challenge for some producers who do not readily access online resources. The new Water Sustainability Act (2014) suggests that Regional Water Management Plans or Strategies will be encouraged in the future. There appears to be a strong role for local producers in the development of these strategies or plans. 2)Marketingandbranding
The North Okanagan has benefitted from many agricultural marketing successes including small‐scale, organic, conventional, dairy, beef, flowers, poultry, sheep, vegetable, orchards, wineries. However, according to the 2007 North Okanagan Food Security Report, food producers and processors noted that it was easier to export their goods to other regions in BC due to the additional costs of selling locally like advertising, storage, packaging, etc. Regardless, the survey results indicated that producers are generally committed to selling locally, and most do retail at least a portion of their products within the region. Support for farmers markets is on the rise, with several new markets in the RDNO having started in the last few years. This is not surprising considering that the North Okanagan Food Security and Action Plan noted that the Vernon Farmers’ Market alone contributes $1.2 million per year to the local economy through 1,660 daily customers, each of them spending an average of $18.86 per visit. On the other hand, several producers noted in the survey that selling at the farmers market is not a convenient option for them – usually due to scheduling, logistics, or that they didn’t believe it was financially worth it. In addition to farmers markets, many opportunities for marketing farm products exist, including:  In‐Store Advertising: advertising support in the store where their products are offered. Pictures of the farmers and their families could be presented along with information about each farm. Dedicated sections in local grocery stores (10 to 12 feet of shelf‐space) could be set aside for local farm products. This is already being done by some North Okanagan retailers including Butcher Boys Grocery, Swan Lake Nursery, Quality Greens, and others. Figure 30. Fieldstone Organics products on display at Swan Lake Nursery. 17 Page 119 of 157
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


Online and Social Media: Apps, websites, tweets, and Facebook posts relating to local food and agriculture all add to the extension of awareness and understanding of the regional food system. Farmers’ Institute: This organization would have a different mandate than producer associations. The group could create a mentoring program to support new and existing farmers in the area, and improve information and knowledge transfer between farmers. Branding for Local Food: The potential exists to develop a regional brand which would allow for immediate recognition by local consumers as well as visitors. There is a large market for fresh and processed foods in the Okanagan. As of 2007 there were 50 local wholesalers, 36 mainstream retail outlets, and 18 alternative retailers in the North Okanagan17. Local products available include organic and non‐organic produce, meat, poultry and eggs, dairy products, non‐dairy products, flour/cereals, medicinal herbs, ginseng, organic spelt, beer, and wine. Based on survey results, the main products that are sold locally (aside from hay and forage) include apples, strawberries, sweet cherries, plums, apricots, corn, asparagus, potatoes and squash. Producers have discovered that selling their products locally involves increased costs in the areas of advertising, transport, storage, packaging and retailing, which are often paid for by the buyer when products are sold to large companies for export out of the region. The research conducted for the Splatsin Agriculture Strategy18 suggested that the ten most lucrative crops to produce in the North Okanagan are: 1. Parsley 2. Parsnips 3. Beets 4. Garlic 5. Tomatoes 6. Lettuce 7. Strawberries 8. Spinach 9. Carrots 10. Sweet cherries Despite this research, RDNO producers are not necessarily growing these most lucrative crops. The top responses from the survey, in order of highest to lowest number of producers, include (bolded entries indicate one of the most lucrative crops as listed above): 1. Hay 2. Alfalfa 3. Garlic, Corn (tie) 4. Zucchini/squash 5. Field tomatoes 6. Carrots, Herbs, Apples (tie) 7. Beans, Onions (tie) 8. Beets 9. Kale, Potatoes, Raspberries (tie) 10. Strawberries Crop Suitability and Agricultural Feasibility Study. Splatsin Nation, 2013. Crop Suitability and Agricultural Feasibility Study. Splatsin Nation, 2013. 17
18
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In the Community Survey, respondents were asked which products (not value‐added) they would like to see locally available. The top responses were:  Nuts  Berries According to the results of the Farmer Survey, the RDNO is home to:  11 raspberry producers  10 strawberry producers  4 walnut producers  3 hazelnut producers  1 chestnut producer 3)Costsofdoingbusinessandtheneedfor(re)investment
BC producers experience high costs for land, labour, chemical and fertilizer inputs and fuel. Farmers in most of BC have difficulty producing sufficient financial resources to afford adequate farm labour, equipment, and other farm inputs (seeds, feed, soil amendments, etc.) to enhance production levels. Most farmers need financial assistance in order to scale up their production and often one family member must work off the farm. North Okanagan farmers responded overwhelmingly through the survey and one‐on‐one interviews that the cost of land, taxes, and inputs are some of the top concerns facing agriculture in the RDNO. Local farmers are concerned that lower priced, imported food may be bringing down the price of locally grown food, which directly affects farmers’ sales revenues. Local food producers are having difficulty competing with large agri‐businesses. The cost of land can be a barrier to those who are interested in starting a new farm. It’s clear that expansion or start‐ups of any business type requires significant investments. For agriculture that includes land, plants, animals, equipment, labour, training, permits, licences, or technology. Despite these costs, interest rates are currently relatively low, and now would likely be a good time to invest in the agricultural sector. Several suggestions put forward in both the community survey and farmer survey suggested either easing land taxes for those who are producing food or increasing taxes for those who live on farmland, but don’t use the land for production purposes. These suggestions ignore the fact that ALR land is already taxed at a lower rate than land outside the ALR and that land both within and outside the ALR can be granted “Farm Status” for further tax reductions. Farmers should be encouraged to take advantage in this reduction in taxes if they are not already doing so. In order to be eligible, minimum farm income requirements are calculated as follows: $10,000 on land less than 0.8 hectares (1.98 acres); $2,500 on land between 0.8 hectares (1.98 acres) and 4 hectares (10 acres); on land larger than 4 hectares (10 acres), $2,500 plus five per cent of the actual value of any farm land in excess of 4 hectares; and $10,000, in order to qualify unused land where the area in production by the owner makes up at least 25% of the portion of the parcel outside the ALR19. Some sales of qualifying agricultural products must occur every year. 19
BC Assessment Authority: Farm Tax Status. http://www.bcassessment.ca/public/Fact%20Sheets/Farm%20Classification%20in%20British%20Columbia.pdf 19 Page 121 of 157
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During the first Focus Group Session in May 2014, producers indicated the difficulty of accessing land for leasing and for new entrants to agriculture. There were concerns raised about the limitations to land tenure and leasing and that the length of land rentals restricted the inclination or ability for farmers to invest in infrastructure or land and soil improvements. Some of the farmers present in the Focus Group session also mentioned that they were actively looking for land to lease, which indicated a desire to expand current production and potential for market growth. Results from the farmer survey indicate that many are hoping to expand their operations within the short term (next five years). Table 4. Farming plans for the next 5 years. Future Farm Plans Expand operations Continue as usual Transfer ownership, but continue living there
Reduce operations Sell Discontinue Subdivide Transfer ownership and move away
Total Number of respondents 38
30
11
Percentage 8
5
4
4
1
101
8% 5% 4% 4% 1% 100% 38% 30% 11% 4)Transportationanddistribution
Many transportation and distribution networks abound in the North Okanagan, with Highway 97, Highway 6, and Highway 97A travelling through a significant section of RDNO. Producers within the region have excellent access to local communities and markets as well as a number of major cities such as Vernon, Kamloops, Kelowna, Penticton, Calgary and Vancouver by air and ground transportation, including train. However, while the transportation routes exist, the cost of the fuel and freight out of the North Okanagan region makes shipping and transportation prohibitive for many producers. The need to ship livestock out of the region to be finished and/or processed is a major transportation‐related concern. Support systems and infrastructure for collecting, storing, processing, and distributing food to major retail markets have long been established and operate efficiently at the provincial and national levels (Sysco, Gordon Food Services, and Overwaitea are examples). While some North Okanagan suppliers have developed contracts with these distributors, other producers may have difficulty accessing this distribution system because:  Many producers are too small to meet production requirements of larger scale retail outlets;  Many producers in rural and outlying areas cannot efficiently transport products to a distribution point or center;  There may be information gaps around labeling, quality control, traceability, and food safety; or  Some supply‐managed industries (such as dairy) have little control over the distribution of their product. 20 Page 122 of 157
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Producers have an untapped opportunity to work co‐
operatively to either secure space on trucks and trains moving through the region or to support the creation of new regional food transportation and distribution businesses. Figure 31. Cheese making facility in Armstrong.
5)Accesstoskilledandaffordablelabour
Across BC, the farming industry is experiencing a shortage of seasonal and/or skilled agricultural workers. Based on survey responses and the first Focus Group session, many producers noted that the availability of workers wasn’t the major concern, but the low wages that farmers can offer leads to an inability to retain skilled farm labour. Very few farms have employees and those that do usually only have 1‐2 paid employees. Residents in the region have long based their occupation on natural resources. Historically jobs have centered around gold rushes, railroad construction, mineral exploration and mining, highway projects, forestry, fishing, tourism, farming and ranching. Downturns have resulted in unemployment, wage disparities, rapid shifts in population, and lost opportunities for associated businesses. Despite these challenges, people are attracted to the area by its beauty and quality of rural life. The labour issue is a bit of a “chicken and egg” problem for local farmers. Many acknowledge that additional labour resources are required in order for operations to scale up production; however most farms cannot afford to hire labour, even seasonally, at current profit margins. When labour is sought, it can be difficult to find good help. The population in the region is aging, with many in retirement, and many members of the younger generation leaving the region for higher paying work opportunities. Several stakeholders mentioned the lure of the oil and gas sector in northern BC and felt that many people in the 25‐55 year age range were leaving on short‐term work opportunities out of the region. 21 Page 123 of 157
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6)Expansionofnicheandvalue‐addedproducts
Increasing consumer awareness of the benefits of eating locally is increasing the demand for fresh and processed local food products. Direct sales in the form of the number of farmers markets and BC’s high level of educated and health‐
conscious consumers has produced a 500% increase in organic food purchases in BC since 200620. Other value‐added sectors that are doing well include alcoholic beverages ‐ craft beer retail sales have increased 20% each year since 2006 and Okanagan wines have done very well in the past 10 years, winning national and international awards. Experience‐
based products (such as corn sold at a corn maze, or apple pie sold at a u‐pick Figure 32. Value‐added farm products for sale in Vernon. apple orchard) are also popular with consumers. According to the community survey, consumers are willing to pay premium prices for products locally. The RGS Quality of Life survey responses indicated that local food access is considered to be just above “good” and respondents indicated that this issue needs somewhat more attention than it currently receives. Results from the RAAP community survey indicate that there is potential for value‐added local products that address changing trends in the food industry. Specific value‐added products that consumers would like to see locally include:  Canned goods (according to Farmer Survey, only 11 are producing)  Sauces, marinades, jams  Baked goods (according to Farmer Survey, only 3 are producing)  Frozen goods The North Okanagan Food Action Plan (2007) identified 23 identified food processors in the region. Their range of goods and services included milk and soy products, poultry and eggs, meats and sausage, produce, honey, ginseng, coffee roasting, spring water, wine, and beer. There is also a market for frozen produce such as frozen berries and pie fillings. The ALC’s regulation permits the processing of farm products in the ALR provided 50% arise from the farm operation. Processing facilities on ALR that are not associated with a farm, or have off farm inputs greater than 50%, require that an application be submitted to the ALC. BC Ministry of Agriculture Service Plan http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2013_June_Update/sp/pdf/ministry/agri.pdf 20
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7)Theregionaltourismmarket
Providing farm tours and serving prepared food on‐site is one way that farmers have been able to continue farming in a profitable manner, and many Okanagan farms are examples of this. At least three maps are available to residents and visitors who wish to visit farms in the RDNO. Many farmers indicated in the survey that they would be interested in being involved in agritourism, however few had specific suggestions as to what that activity may be. A few producers were concerned that agritourism would mean large fairgrounds, equestrian centres, or rodeos. Recent discussions at the ALC suggest that local governments and producers are requesting more clarification around the definition of “agritourism” specifically as it pertains to scale, permanence, and type of activity. It is likely that the ALC will be working to define some of these terms for producers and local governments in the near future. In the meantime, an agritourism strategy or agritourism framework could be developed within input by the RDNO farming community. Both the Spallumcheen Agricultural Area Plan21 and the Coldstream Agricultural Plan22 call for working locally and regionally towards an agritourism strategy. In Kelowna, the Laurel Packinghouse pays tribute to the Central Okanagan’s rich agricultural heritage. The museum, located in an agri‐industrial building over 100 years hold, includes the BC Orchard Industry Museum and the BC Wine Museum. It also serves as an event location for meetings, conferences, and celebrations. There is an opportunity to create a similar tribute to the North Okanagan’s agricultural history while leveraging the tourism value into an economic opportunity for producers by including retail services within an agricultural museum. The District of Coldstream’s Agricultural Plan also speaks to the opportunity for more museums or historical venues to celebrate the agricultural community’s contribution to the local and regional identity. An additional opportunity that ties into agritourism is a public market. A study commissioned by the City of Vernon in 201123 examined the feasibility of a public market for the area. The results suggest that there is a feasible “operational” option within the City of Vernon for such a facility. The recommended business model would include five specific business units including: Figure 33. Davison Orchards in Vernon. 1. Small public market for high quality/unique “North Okanagan” products; 2. Commercial kitchen and food processing teaching area; Township of Spallumcheen Agricultural Area Plan, 2006. District of Coldstream Agricultural Plan, 2009. Section 2.6 New Trends in Agri‐Tourism Business & Farm Retail Sales. 23
Public Market Feasibility Study and Business Plan, 2011. City of Vernon, BC. Submitted by Lochaven Management 21
22
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3. Restaurants with locally sourced menus; 4. Community event area; and, 5. Vernon and North Okanagan Tourism and Visitor’s Centre. Respondents to both the Farmer Survey and the Community Survey noted that they would like to see a year‐round indoor farmers market. Some other agritourism options that were suggested in the survey responses included U‐Picks, trail rides and hikes, wine tastings, farm crawls, Circle Farm Tours, Feast of Fields, and more. A number of community members also noted that a single publication that is updated on a regular basis (similar to the Comox Valley’s Growers Guide) would be very useful from a consumer perspective, rather than having to refer to several maps that may be in various stages of updates. 8)Regulatorychallenges
A few key regulatory issues were raised during the consultation with consumers and producers. These included the role of Marketing Boards and Quota, the Meat Inspection Regulation (MIR), and the issue of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). While the role of local governments is limited in all of these regulatory issues, there may be opportunities to work with provincial and senior levels of government. In particular, the RDNO may consider collaborating with other Regional Districts in the Southern Interior on solutions to issues of mutual concern. Learning opportunities may be created within the community on each topic. MarketingBoardsandQuotas
There are currently eight Boards and Commissions in place in BC that manage quota and/or marketing for a variety of products in BC. These are:  BC Broiler Hatching Egg Commission  BC Chicken Marketing Board  BC Cranberry Marketing Commission  BC Egg Marketing Board  BC Hog Marketing Commission  BC Milk Marketing Board  BC Turkey Marketing Board  BC Vegetable Marketing Commission Marketing boards generally control shipments, distribution, and advertising so that producers (over a certain threshold) are unable to sell their products at the farm gate or directly to retailers24. A producer must generally leave the system in order for another one to enter it. The system does require someone with the ability to navigate the licencing process and to keep up with ongoing paperwork as required. This creates efficiencies and benefits for those holding quota: it ensures a level marketing playing field, fair prices for products, and streamlined processing systems. On the other hand, it can also create challenges for producers who wish to enter the industry and/or who wish to market or sell their goods directly to retailers and restaurants. 24
BC Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food. 2003. An Overview of the BC Field Vegetable Industry. Industry Competitiveness Branch. http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/fieldvegetable/publications/documents/field_veg_profile.pdf 24 Page 126 of 157
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MeatInspectionRegulation(MIR)andClassEPilotProject
The Provincial Meat Inspection Regulation (MIR) sets out construction, inspection and other requirements for provincially licensed slaughter facilities in BC. The regulation came into force in 2004, compliance became mandatory in September of 2007 and significant changes to licence classes were made in 2010 and 2013. The language of the regulation allows for innovative approaches, such as mobile slaughter facilities that can provide services to several rural communities. However, many small‐scale producers criticized the move as restricting their ability to slaughter their animals in areas not served by provincially‐licensed facilities. The MIR has resulted in a reduction of locally‐available abattoirs for beef and poultry producers25. This creates high costs associated with meat processing for farmers who need to ship their animals to other communities in order to process livestock, or have eggs graded for sale. This has led for calls for the province to allow the North Okanagan to be exempt from the MIR licensing restrictions, as has been granted for some of the more remote parts of the province.26 Figure 34. Sign displayed at a Vernon‐area restaurant.
The following meat processing facilities exist within or near to the RDNO: Poultry  North Okanagan Poultry Processors (Armstrong)  Silvernails Abattoir (Falkland)  Farmcrest Foods Ltd (Salmon Arm)  Okanagan Poultry Processors (Kelowna) Red Meat  Valley Wide Meats (Enderby)  Lambert Creek Organic Meats (Grindrod)  Riverside Natural Meats (Salmon Arm)  Longhorn Farms Abattoir (Kelowna)  Kelowna Free Graze Lamb (Kelowna) For producers in Cherryville, the closest processing facilities are in the Slocan Valley. The RDNO has been working on this issue since 2006 and commissioned a MIR Impact Report in 2008. More recently (2013), the RDNO partnered with the BC Ministry of Agriculture to launch a Class E Pilot Impact of the Meat Inspection Regulation on slaughter capacity in the North Okanagan Regional District (RDNO). Final Report, January 2008. Prepared by B. Johnson. 25
“Pressure continues on meat rules”, Vernon Morning Star, May 11 2014. 26
25 Page 127 of 157
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Project. Pilot project participants had to reside within the RDNO, and be located within two hours travel time of a provincially licensed Class A or B abattoir that offers the services that they require. Five producers applied and were accepted to the RDNO pilot program. There were from Lumby (2), Armstrong (2), and Gardom Lake. However, by mid‐2014 only one license had been issued through the pilot program. IHA staff explained the delays based on the fact that each applicant is progressing through the program at different rates.27 Now that ten years have passed since MIR was introduced in 2004, an opportunity exists for the RDNO to partner with IHA and other regional districts to explore the resulting economic impacts that MIR has had on local businesses and communicate these findings with provincial regulatory authorities. GMOsandUseofChemicals
In Canada, the regulation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is primarily done at the federal level. According to the federal government regulatory system, a GMO is an organism that was produced through modification techniques that include traditional breeding, hybridization and genetic engineering. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has primary responsibility for regulation of GMO crops. CFIA is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Seeds Act, and for the assessment and regulation of all plants and crops, including products derived from biotechnology. Other federal departments carry out functions related to GMO products. Health Canada is responsible under the Food and Drugs Act (FDA) and associated regulations for conducting safety assessments for all new foods and drugs, including products developed using biotechnology. The province has jurisdiction over local health, environmental and agricultural issues, subject to federal regulations. The Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act legislation in BC permits farmers to undertake normal agricultural practices that cannot be regulated or prohibited by local government, including using approved genetically engineered seeds, plants or animals. To date, the RDNO Board of Directors has taken the following actions regarding concerns expressed by some community members regarding GMO products, foods and organisms: • Letter sent on February 4, 2013 to the CFIA requesting GMO food labeling; • Requested advice on GMO crops from the RAAC for the Board of Directors consideration; • Participated in a Union of British Columbia of Municipalities (UBCM) resolution in 2012 requesting leadership from provincial and federal governments regarding GMO crops; and, • Forwarded the request from BeeSAFE to the Ministry of Agriculture regarding the development of a GMO Transition Guide. The UBCM resolution that passed in 2013 by approximately 60% of the attending delegates states: “That UBCM ask the British Columbia government to legislate the prohibition of importing, exporting and growing plants and seeds containing genetically engineered DNA, and raising GE animals within BC, and to declare, through legislation, that BC is a GE Free area in respect to all plant and animal species." Staff at the RDNO have pointed out that they do not have the expertise internally to conduct an investigation into the risks and benefits of GMOs. The Board of Directors has requested that the RAAC consider this issue and the Committee has members that represent divergent opinions on the matter. “Pressure continues on meat rules”, Vernon Morning Star, May 11 20 27
26 Page 128 of 157
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An opportunity exists for a food system and agriculture speaker series at the University of British Columbia Okanagan or Okanagan College, with a focus on GMOs. 9)Innovation,research,andeducation
In order to stay competitive against imports, the local agricultural sector must be innovative. This may mean working more efficiently, exploring economies of scale, or working collaboratively and co‐
operatively. It will also require partnering with research institutes and students. During the first focus group session in May 2014, it was clear that there is considerable support and willingness to work together amongst farmers and farm‐related businesses. While there is a role for individual commodity group organizations, it was evident that farmers are willing to cooperate and collaborate when necessary. Success will be most easily realized if they can be leveraged through the RAAP and within the agricultural community. In particular, there is a need to plan and adapt to the ongoing challenges presented by climate change and water scarcity. Research into marketing and product development is another area that was brought up in the survey. Issue topics that are of interest that have been mentioned by farmers in both the Focus Group session in the survey include:  Water‐efficient farm practices  Regionally‐specific climate change planning and adaptation  Pest and disease management for regionally‐relevant crops  Locally appropriate wine grape varieties  Land tenure options for retiring farmers  Crop trials for niche or emerging products  Management options for noxious weeds  Historical research into the agricultural community Opportunities to collaborate on research through the Pacific Agricultural Research Centre, UBC Okanagan, Okanagan College, School Districts #22 and #83, and other learning institutions could be broadened. This could be initiated by individual producers, agricultural organizations, or the RDNO. The Patchworks Farm model is one example of a successful collaboration between Kindale and the RDNO, District of Coldstream, City of Vernon, producers, local food organizations, and UBC Okanagan. The need to provide education opportunities for farmers (in technical skills, business, and policy issues) and the public (in the food system and agricultural history) came up often in discussions with both producers and members of the community. Programs such as the Provincial Ag‐in‐the‐Classroom have been successful in raising the agricultural literacy of school‐aged children around the province. This program could be amplified and made more relevant by integrating presentations by farmers, processors, and other members of the food system to schools. Producers could benefit from being made aware of the large amount of education resources offered by the Ministry of Agriculture through their Agriculture in the Classroom programming. Many producers were not sure of what courses or materials were available to them. Several mentioned through the Farmer Survey that they would like to see an appointed staff member at the RDNO be able to provide extension services to help them navigate the often complicated levels of administration and bureaucracy associated with the agricultural industry, especially related to processing and food safety. 27 Page 129 of 157
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SummaryofChallengesandOpportunities
A summary of opportunities is presented in order to stimulate discussion. They are not presented as approved recommendations. Furthermore, lead agencies or organizations have not been identified to carry out any of these initiatives at this stage. A fulsome evaluation of these options is part of the ongoing consultation and planning process. Table 5. Summary of challenges and opportunities. Issue 1. Biophysical considerations 
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2. Marketing and branding 
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Challenges
Water scarcity ‐ especially in the summer months. Lack of understanding of water governance structure. Uncertainty over the impacts of climate change. Lack of noxious weed control strategy for farmland. No unifying brand or tagline for North Okanagan agricultural products exists. Farmers are not producing the most lucrative crops. Lack of presence in social media, online advertising. 
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3. Cost of doing business and the need for (re)investment 
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4. Transportation and distribution 
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The cost farmland is high for relatively low returns for most producers. Other input (equipment, seeds) costs are also high. These barriers limit new entrants who want to get into farming. Cost of transportation and distribution is rising along with the cost of fuel. Some producers have developed agreements with major distributors, but not all have. Many small‐scale farms are using many small‐scale transportation options and this is missing potential economies of scale. 
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Opportunities Host a forum on agricultural water issues in conjunction with the Okanagan Basin Water Board. Support research and knowledge extension in preparing and planning for extreme weather and climate change adaptation and planning for climate change mitigation. Develop a regional noxious weed program that focuses on the impacts that weeds have on the local food system. Consider contracting out the development of a logo/brand for North Okanagan products. Develop an agritourism strategy (see Issue #8 for more on this topic). Take advantage of marketing research indicating which crops and products will sell well in the region. Leverage existing presence in grocery stores to the larger chain stores. Develop a social media campaign for North Okanagan agriculture. Connections between those who own ALR but don’t have farm tax status (aren’t producing) with those who want to lease land. Further explore how farmers wish to expand their operations in the next few years. Take advantage of low interest rates for loans to use towards re‐investment. Connect small‐scale farmers to determine transportation needs and assess if leveraging many short trips into less longer distance trips would be feasible. Create an environment for producers and distributors to come together to discuss demand and supply needs and distribution options. Consider developing an agri‐industrial strategy that would explore supply, demand, transportation, and distribution needs. This could tie into the Regional Employment Lands Action Plan currently in development. 28 Page 130 of 157
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5. Access to skilled and affordable labour 
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6. Niche and value‐
added products 
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7. The regional tourism market 
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8. Regulatory challenges 
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9. Innovation, research, and education 
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Many young people going north for jobs in the oil and gas sector. Skilled labour more and more difficult to come by. Producers can’t expand operations if there isn’t a secure labour base. The type of locally‐
produced products in demand by the community do not always match was is actually being offered by producers. Local producers are not accessing and taking advantage of information about investing in niche products development. Value‐added infrastructure (cold storage, processing) is not being used to its greatest potential. Current initiatives are somewhat disjointed and lack and overall strategy. Producers cannot always attend seasonal farmers markets due to schedules. 
Marketing commissions and quotas limit new entrants and control ability to sell locally. MIR limits the processing and sales of locally‐raised meats. Agricultural community is divided on GMO issue. Lack of information about regionally‐relevant crop production Need for information about climate change impacts on agriculture and adaptation Policy issues, such as land tenure, require attention Producers not always aware of provincial education resources 
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Distribute information on existing agricultural labour pools. Collaborate with existing organizations on initiatives that match farm labourers with producers. Support or develop a regionally‐specific farm internship program. Distribute market information results from the Community Survey to producers in the region so that they can see what is locally in demand. Host meetings on the feasibility of local production and sales of the following products: nuts, berries, herbs, and dairy (cow). Update research into current state of processing infrastructure and equipment in the region and distribute it through the agricultural community. Develop a regional agri‐tourism strategy. Create a year‐round indoor market for producers using recommendations found in the City of Vernon Public Market Feasibility study. Explore opportunities to collaborate with museums and historical societies in the region to celebrate the agricultural history of the region. Collaborate with all levels of government to reduce hurdles for producers, especially those who wish to develop value‐added products. Explore regional regulatory opportunities that may support a positive environment for producers. 
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Collaboration with post‐secondary academic institutes Increase communication of research needs with academia and government research stations Leverage existing in‐school agricultural education programs Provide extension to farmers who have difficulty navigating confusing paperwork 29 Page 131 of 157
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SuccessStories
There are many successful businesses and agricultural endeavours in the North Okanagan area. The following are a selection of these. BellmannSpecialtyProduce
Bellmann Specialty Produce is located in Grandview Flats in Spallumcheen. Their focus is on using sustainable agricultural production to grow high quality vegetables and fruit. Their background is in the food and hospitality industry, so quality definitely comes before quantity. They have a farm stand on site and also sell to local retail and wholesale markets such as Sysco and Gordon Food Services. Products they grow include: radishes, zucchini, carrots, raspberries, squash and root vegetables. To learn more about them and check out their product schedule visit their website at: http://www.bellmannspecialtyproduce.com/. TheBXPress
The BX Press is a new cidery that opened in 2014 on East Vernon Road in the BX region. They have created 4 hand‐crafted ciders that have received an excellent response in their short time under production. The owners are third‐generation farmers on that land growing apples that are used in the ciders they produce. The cidery hosts a tasting room on site to sample ciders and, when they are sold out, offer fresh apples for sale as well. They also sell to a number of local liquor stores and restaurants in both Vernon and Kelowna. Find out more about The BX Press here: http://thebxpress.com/ DavisonOrchards
Davison Orchards is also located on Bella Vista Road in Vernon and is a family business has grown substantially over the last 60 years. There are currently three generations living and working together on the farm. The farm produces a wide variety of tree fruits that they process on site into value‐added products such as preserves, baked goods, syrups and much more. They also produce mixed vegetables on site with u‐pick options. The family has capitalized on their agritourism capacity by providing a café, store, petting farm, play area and tours for visitors. They employ a large number of individuals from the local community. You can learn more about Davison Orchards on their website at: http://www.davisonorchards.ca/. FieldstoneOrganics
Fieldstone Organics is BC’s only certified organic grain handling facility. They provide whole grains, legumes and seeds for bulk, wholesale and retail customers. They are certified organic for handling and work with a number of local organic Okanagan growers to supply the majority of their needs. They do source from other areas in Canada as well, when needed to supplement their supply. Fieldstone Organics began as a cooperative of organic growers in Armstrong in the early 2000s who required grain processing equipment and support for their individual businesses. Today, they offer those same custom services to other growers in addition to the products that they sell through retail and wholesale markets. Check them out at: http://www.fieldstoneorganics.ca/. OkanaganSpirits
Okanagan Spirits is an internationally acclaimed craft distillery featuring a unique selection of specialty spirits such as fruit brandies, liqueurs, marc (grappa), vodka, whisky and Taboo Genuine Absinthe. They use local ingredients (100% BC fruit) where possible and produce their products in copper stills without the use of additives, chemicals or artificial flavours. Okanagan Spirits sells direct to restaurants and resorts, as well as globally at Canadian Embassies. They have two distilleries located in downtown 30 Page 132 of 157
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Vernon and downtown Kelowna and offer tours and tastings at both. Learn more about them here: http://www.okanaganspirits.com/. Pilgrim’sProduce
Pilgrim’s Produce is located in front of Eagle Rock in Spallumcheen. The farm was started in 1991 and is certified to the BC Certified Organic Program by the North Okanagan Organic Association. They grow a variety of fruits and vegetables for farmers markets, u‐pick and for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) customers. They also partner with other local farmers to supplement their production. In 2003, Pilgrim’s Produce was given the Armstrong/Spallumcheen Agriculture award and in 2006, the Okanagan branch of BC Institute of Agrologists honoured them as Farm Farmily of the Year for Outstanding Service to the Okanagan Agriculture Industry. In 2012, the owner, Rob Hettle, was also given the Founder’s Award by the Certified Organic Association of BC. Pilgrim’s Produce is well‐known for mentoring and supporting new and young farmers in the region. To learn more about their story visit: http://www.pilgrimsproduce.com/. PlanetBee
Planet Bee Honey Farm and Gift Shop is located on Bella Vista Road in Vernon. The owners have developed a very successful agritourism venture with the following attractions:  Educational tours of their hives, honey extraction process and bottling process  Honey tastings  Tastings of their locally produced mead  On‐site gift shop where you can purchase all of their products Planet Bee is open year‐round, but they suggest stopping by during the summer to see the bees in action. Their educational tours provide a way for consumers to learn about agriculture and honey production as well as bee behaviour. You can learn more about them here: http://www.planetbee.com/. TheVillageCheeseCompany
The Village Cheese Company is located in the City of Armstrong. They are a small family‐owned cheese company that makes artisan cheese from local whole milk from the Okanagan Valley. They do all of their own pasteurization and packaging in their cheese plant in Armstrong and operate an extensive store with other local products available for purchase. They also operate a small café on site. Village Cheese provides products for other retail outlets and sell at the local farmers markets in the region as well. They offer tours of their facility and are open 7 days a week. You can learn more about them here: http://villagecheese.com/. ZelaneyFarms
Zelaney Farm is a 20 acre vegetable and strawberry farm located in Coldstream. The family has been farming the land since 1987 and operate a farm store that is open from May to October each year. They also sell at the Vernon and Kelowna farmers’ markets four times per week in the summer months and are strong supporters of both markets. Zelaney Farm uses sustainable agriculture practices such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM), crop rotations and hand weeding to grow high quality produce. Products they grow include: carrots, radishes, spinach, strawberries, beans, beets, broccoli, potatoes, cabbage, herbs, corn, onions and bedding plants. To find out more about them and which markets they sell at visit: http://www.zelaneyfarms.ca/. 31 Page 133 of 157
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Conclusion
This MOA was created to help identify opportunities and challenges for the North Okanagan agricultural community. It was developed based on extensive community consultation and literature research. The list of top issues, in no particular order, is: 10. Biophysical considerations (including climate, soils, water, invasive species) 11. Marketing and branding 12. Costs of doing business and the need for (re)investment 13. Transportation and distribution 14. Access to skilled and affordable labour 15. Expansion of niche and value‐added products 16. The regional tourism market 17. Regulatory challenges 18. Innovation, research, and education Economic and regulatory challenges notwithstanding, the fact that the North Okanagan is currently only 20% food self‐sufficient (at most) based to the amount of land currently under cultivation and irrigated indicates a wealth of opportunity for the sector. Many opportunities to overcome challenges were identified in this report and the results will be used, along with the Background Report, to develop detailed recommended actions and an implementation strategy for the RAAP. Local and regional government have a lot to offer new and existing farmers with robust agriculture‐
related infrastructure and services, a supportive consumer and agriculture community and partnerships with academic institutions that could be further enhanced. 32 Page 134 of 157
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APPLICATION BY LAND OWNER
NOTE: The injormatioll required by this form and tile documents you provide with it are collected to process your application
under the Agricultuml Land Commission Act and regulation. This itiformation will be available for review by any member ofthe
public. lfyou have any questions about the collection or use of this information, contact the Agricultural Land Commission am/
asic for the staff member who will be handling your application.
TYPE OF APPLICATION (Check appropriate box)
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EXCLUSION
under Sec. 30( l) of the Agricnlillrnl Land Commission Act
SUBDIVISION in the AI .R
under Sec. 21 (2) of the Agricultural Land Commission Act
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under Sec. 17(3) of the Agricultural Land Commission 1\ct
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the information provided in the application and a li the supporting documents are, to the best of my/our knowledge,
true and correct. 1/we understand that the Agricultural Land Commission wil l take the steps necessary to confirm the
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Page 136 of 157
2
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RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item E.2
OWNERSHIP OR INTERESTS IN OTHER LANDS WITHIN THIS
COMMUNITY
NAMES AND ADDRESSES OF LEASED LAND
LOOUISEN, ANNAMIEKE- 141 OLD SICAMOUS ROAD, GRINDROD
HILDEBRAND, DENNIS
- 109 MONK ROAD, GRINDROD
WELLS, IRENE
-51 MONK ROAD, GRINDROD
WELLS, RICK
- 147 MONK ROAD, GRINDROD
BALCH, ALFRED
- 31 CRANDLEMIRE ROAD, GRINDROD
DEJARDINS, M&J
- 15 CRANDLEMIRE ROAD, GRINDROD
DEDOOD, JARED
- HWY 97A, WESTSIDE ROAD, GRINDROD
WILSON, MARLENE
- #74 METCALFE ROAD, SALMON ARM
LLOYD, DAVID
- #28 SCHINDLER ROAD, SALMON ARM
THE FIRST 7 PROPERTIES WE RENT FOR GROWING CROPS AND
THE LAST 2 PROPERTIES ARE FOR PASTURE USE.
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March 19, 2015 - Item E.2
Proposal for Non-Farm Use on ALR Land
Introduction
Sunninghill Holsteins owned by John and June deDood, are farming with their son
Curtis and daughter in-law Britney and are building a state of the art robotic dairy
barn on property that fronts Highway 97 A in Grindrod. Our family has farmed
here since 1966 when John's mother and father bought the original property. Our
passion has always been the dairy industry and now we want to invite the public to
experience our new dairy bam via "Farmer John's" store.
Farmer John's will be unique to our beautiful Okanagan/Shuswap valley. The
market will promote the local dairy industry, animal husbandry, local farm
products, and provide farming education to the public in the following ways:
11 Farmer John' s Market Center
The market ar~")Vill feature a wide array of milk products from fluid milk to the
creamiest ice cream and incredibly unique cheeses that artisan producers in our
area produce. We would like to offer for sale products frQm farmers that produce
unique items like honey, jam, syrups, hot sauces and juices. This will help smaller
market producers to have more productive businesses thus keeping their land in
active production. It would also allow this eclectic group of private local
businesses to sell their goods in a centralized market which will be situated in a
visible, high volume easy to access location. Products generated and sold off of
our land interests include milk, organically fed broilers, garlic, hay, sweet com,
berries and vegetables. With the approval to have a market at our location our
farm will diversify into a wide array of products such as raspberries, strawberries,
hascap berries, eggs and our own grass fed beef. We are also working on a new
product - water buffalo. Yes! Have you ever seen or milked a water buffalo?
Their milk is rich in protein and butterfat which is ideal for producing mozzarella
cheese. The opportunities are as endless as your imagination.
2/ Animal Husbandry
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Our 300'x70' barn will feature the latest robotics in the dairy industry. For our
herd of 110 Holsteins you will see automated brushes that grooms the animals, two
Lely robots to milk the cows and a robot that pushes up feed and returns itself to be
automatically recharged. Another robot will feed the calves. There will be
viewing areas on both the ground floor and the upper mezzanine where the public
is welcome to watch and study this exciting operation. There will also be an area
to observe the birth of baby calves. These areas will allow us to promote farming
to young and old alike, to encourage the youth to choose agriculture as a career and
to educate the public on why it is important to produce our own food rather than to
rely on imports. We will be able to show where and how high quality Canadian
milk is produced.
3/ Public Education
a) We are creating a display area that bridges the dairy industry from the
1950' s to the ultra-modern present. This will include photographs, articles
and physical artifacts to give a fascinating history lesson on local
agriculture.
b) Our Learning and industry centre located on the upstairs mezzanine is
designed for the following types of activities:
i)
Viewing the operation from above
ii)
Teaching animal husbandry
iii) Bringing in chefs to educate the public on how to prepare local food
products
Wine and cheese presentations using local products
iv)
v)
School groups gathering place for part of their tour
vi) Bus tour groups
vii) Industry meeting room
viii) "Breakfast on the Farm" - An annual community event sponsored by
agricultural commodity groups.
c) One of our goals is to involve Science World in Vancouver and other local
educators such as veterinarians, animal nutritionists and local historians in
our learning center.
Page 140 of 157
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March 19, 2015 - Item E.2
Conclusion
We believe this project surpasses the goals of the Agricultural Land Commission
Act and will truly benefit agriculture in the Okanagan Valley and area. Farmer
John's will use and preserve the uses of BC Agricultural lands for present and
future agricultural use. It will also encourage and maintain BC farms and the
farming community. Creating this market will also expand agri-tourism in the
North Okanagan with an ecologicaliy positive business that has the potential to
employ up to five people and provide a venue for small businesses to promote and
feature their goods.
Page 141 of 157
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March 19, 2015 - Item E.2
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March 19, 2015 - Item E.2
ELECTORAL AREA "F"
AGRICULTURAL LAND COMMISSION APPLICATION
SUBJECT PROPERTY MAP
File:
Applicant:
Location:
15-0033-F-ALR
John & June deDood
15 Grandview Bench Road
CT. G14253+BB
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147192
148043
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$600.00
144554
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144644
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$600.00
143718
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FEES
RECEIPT
COLLECTED
#
Dukhia, Kanwaljeet
Bolton c/o Shortt
12-0283-B-ALR
12-0569-B-ALR
12-0313-F-ALR
12-0224-F-ALR
RDNO c/o Grindrod Recreation
Association
Munroe
12-0073-F-ALR
12-0062-F-ALR
12-0009-F-ALR
FILE #
Forster - North Enderby Timber
Dangel c/o Shortt
Jackson/Riddle c/o Shortt
APPLICANT NAME
NFU
SUB
NFU
NFU
SUB/EXC
SUB
SUB
Subdivision /
Non-Farm Use /
Exclusion
12/06/18
12/11/30
12/07/05
12/05/18
12/02/22
12/02/14
12/01/10
DATE
APPLICATION
RECEIVED
(y/m/d)
14/04/16
13/04/03
13/01/02
12/05/16
12/04/05
12/06/20
12/06/20
14/04/23
n/a
n/a
12/05/22
12/04/12
12/06/28
12/06/28
DATE BOARD
DATE FILE
APPROVED
SENT TO ALC
(REJECTED)
(y/m/d)
(y/m/d)
14/04/23
n/a
n/a
12/05/22
12/04/12
12/06/28
DATE ALC
FEES
REMITTED
(y/m/d)
Provincial Agricultural Land Commission Applications
2012
$300.00
n/a
n/a
$300.00
$300.00
$300.00
AMOUNT
REMITTED TO
ALC
(REFUNDED)
ALC REJ 14/08/06
BoD REJ
BoD APRV
ALC APRV
12/06/28
ALC APRV
13/08/29
ALC REJ 12/11/21
ALC REJ 13/01/22
ALC
APRV OR REJ
& DATE
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item E.3
Page 154 of 157
157012
158168
155381
159273
159366
$600.00
$600.00
$600.00
$600.00
$600.00
4135
$600.00
N/A
153170
$600.00
$0.00
152981
$600.00
152502
152740
$600.00
$600.00
152475
$600.00
FEES
RECEIPT
COLLECTED
#
Page 155 of 157
G. Goddard c/o Simpson Nortary
R. & S. Nason c/o Maddox
Mertion Excavating Ltd
R. & S. Smith
Schalin c/o Maddox
D. & G. LaRocque
Leitrim Contracting c/o O'Rourke, M.
A. & K. Krause
A. Hatfield & K. Richards
D. & L. Campbell
Wells c/o Shortt
Murach c/o Shortt
APPLICANT NAME
13-0412-D-ALR
13-0410-D-ALR
13-0395-C-ALR
13-0326-D-ALR
13-0274-F-ALR
13-0249-D-ALR
13-0013-D-ALR
13-0101-F-ALR
13-0068-F-ALR
13-0063-D-ALR
13-0046-F-ALR
13-0008-E-ALR
FILE #
SUB/NFU
SUB
NFU
SUB
EXC
INC
NFU
NFU
SUB
NFU
SUB
SUB
Subdivision /
Non-Farm Use /
Exclusion
13/11/14
13/11/08
13/10/23
13/09/04
13/07/13
13/07/11
13/01/17
13/04/04
13/02/22
13/02/15
13/02/06
13/01/14
DATE
APPLICATION
RECEIVED
(y/m/d)
N/A
14/02/05
15/01/21
13/12/15
13/10/02
13/04/17
N/A
13/06/26
14/01/16
N/A
13/03/20
N/A
N/A
15/01/26
14/01/21
13/10/09
13/04/22
N/A
13/07/02
N/A
N/A
13/03/25
DATE BOARD
DATE FILE
APPROVED
SENT TO ALC
(REJECTED)
(y/m/d)
(y/m/d)
N/A
N/A
15/01/26
14/01/21
13/10/09
13/04/22
N/A
13/07/02
N/A
N/A
13/03/25
DATE ALC
FEES
REMITTED
(y/m/d)
Provincial Agricultural Land Commission Applications
2013
$300.00
$300.00
$300.00
$300.00
$300.00
$300.00
$300.00
$600.00
$300.00
AMOUNT
REMITTED TO
ALC
(REFUNDED)
Withdrawn
BoD REJ
ALC APRV 14/05/28
ALC REJ 14/02/17
ALC APRV 13/09/03
Withdrawn
ALC APRV 14/01/29
BoD Authorized BI to
accept BP app
Withdrawn
ALC REJ 13/09/11
ALC
APRV OR REJ
& DATE
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item E.3
162986
163821
167514
$600.00
$600.00
RECEIPT #
$600.00
$0.00
FEES
COLLECTED
14-0195-D-ALR
14-0457-D-ALR
Bluenose Poultry Ltd. - Barg
14-0168-C-ALR
14-0095-F-ALR
FILE #
R. & S. Meadahl c/o C.
Ruechel
K. Mertion
A. Hatfield & D. Richards
APPLICANT NAME
Non-Farm Use
Non-Farm Use
Non-Farm Use
Inclusion
Subdivision /
Non-Farm Use /
Exclusion
14/12/16
14/06/18
14/05/27
14/03/26
14/05/21
14/05/28
DATE BOARD
DATE APPLICATION
DATE FILE
APPROVED
RECEIVED
(y/
SENT TO ALC
(REJECTED) ( y /
(y/m/d)
m/d)
m/d)
N/A
DATE ALC
FEES
REMITTED
(y/m/d)
Provincial Agricultural Land Commission Applications
2014
N/A
AMOUNT REMITTED TO
ALC (REFUNDED)
ALC APRV 14/08/06
ALC
APRV OR REJ
& DATE
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item E.3
Page 156 of 157
RECEIPT #
167474
FEES
COLLECTED
$600.00
J. & J. deDood
APPLICANT NAME
15-0033-F-ALR
FILE #
Non-Farm Use
Subdivision /
Non-Farm Use /
Exclusion
15/02/17
DATE APPLICATION
RECEIVED
(y/m/d)
DATE BOARD
APPROVED
(REJECTED)
(y/m/d)
DATE FILE
SENT TO ALC
(y/m/d)
DATE ALC
FEES
REMITTED
(y/m/d)
Provincial Agricultural Land Commission Applications
2015
AMOUNT REMITTED
TO ALC (REFUNDED)
ALC
APRV OR REJ
& DATE
RAAC - REGULAR AGENDA
March 19, 2015 - Item E.3
Page 157 of 157
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