Agriculture Project Overview


Please also see Action Plans and Final Reports for completed projects.



(COMPLETED) Beyond the Market - Growing the North
October 2010 - Dec 2011
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The purpose of the Beyond the Market: Growing the North project was to work with project partners and communities to build, strengthen, and diversify the produce industry in the Community Futures Fraser Fort George, Stuart Nechako, Nadina, and 16/37 regions by increasing access to information about regional markets and value chain opportunities, building and enhancing networks, encouraging commercial consumers to purchase local foods and encouraging value?added opportunities.

  • Recommendation 2: Attract new entrants to the industry and enable access to training and education for existing and new members of the sector.
  • Recommendation 3: Strengthen the industry by increasing collaboration across the sector and by forging partnerships and communication links with First Nations, local communities, governments, heath, and education agencies.
  • Recommendation 5: Increase the demand for locally and regionally produced foods.

Download the Project Overview - Click Here (PDF 126Kb)

Visit the website here.

FINAL Report Submitted by Community Futures Fraser Fort George - Click Here


(COMPLETED) Regional Farmers' Market Logo and Signage Project
June 2011 - June 2013

Working together through meetings facilitated by the Regional District Bulkley Nechako, the group fostered cooperativeness versus competitiveness. The project hired a Project Coordinator, held a logo contest and selected a Regional Farmers' Market Logo. Signage and banners with the Regional Logo were installed and the Regional District Bulkley Nechako website hosts the Regional Farmers' Market information.

  • Recommendation 1: Develop infrastructure that supports the agriculture sector and removes barriers to its further development and diversification.
  • Recommendation 4: Increase the demand for locally and regionally produced foods.

Download the Project Overview - Click Here (PDF 123Kb)

FINAL Report Submitted by the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako - Click Here  


(COMPLETED) Nechako Environmental & Water Stewardship Society – Application to Nechako Environmental Enhancement Fund
October 2011 - March 2012

The primary objective of the project was to rehabilitate the over thirty streams that flow through the Nechako Valley Agricultural Belt, under one government, through an application to the Nechako Environmental Enhancement Fund in the fall of 2011. The application was successful and the Society was awarded funds to implement the project.

  • Objective 1: Diversify and strengthen the agricultural sector.
  • Objective 4: Increase public support for the sector and interest in locally produced high quality food.
    • Recommendation 1: Develop infrastructure that supports the agriculture sector and removes barriers to its further development and diversification.

Download the Project Overview - Click Here (PDF 123Kb)


(COMPLETED) Agroforestry Community of Practice in Central British Columbia
January 2012 - December 2013

Agroforestry is one economic diversification approach available to land owners and land managers to deal with the substantive impacts on forest resources resulting from the mountain pine beetle attack in the region surrounding Prince George, British Columbia.

Agriculture Strategy

  • Recommendation 1: Develop infrastructure that supports the agriculture sector and removes barriers to its further development and diversification.
    • Ensure existing productive agricultural land is retained and identify land for future agricultural production.
      • Undertake capability assessments as identified under LRMPS.
      • Balance agriculture and forestry needs on crown land.

Forestry Strategy

  • Recommendation 2: Ensure that the forest sector remains a strong economic contributor to the region.
    • Increase the range of products mid-term produced from the region’s forest resources:
      • Complete the Omineca portion of the information assessment for non-timber forest products and determine which products are bested suited for production in the region.
      • Market the region as a good place to invest and develop supports to assist entrepreneurs in marketing, packaging and selling of wood and non-wood products.

Download the Project Overview - Click Here (PDF 110Kb)

FINAL Report Submitted by Resources North Association - Click Here


(COMPLETED) Farm to School Salad Bar Implementation
September 2010 - June 2014

The objective of the project was to establish three sustainable Farm to School Salad Bar Programs in the OBAC region. Working with Northern Health and School District #91, OBAC assisted W.L McLeod with the program and establishing relationships with the local farm(s). The school program is sustainable and includes a greenhouse and garden.

  • Recommendation 1: Develop infrastructure that supports the agriculture sector and removes barriers to its further development and diversification. Action item d) Increase access to affordable healthy food which is produced locally.
  • Recommendation 5: Increase the demand for locally and regionally produced foods. Action Item a) Ensure all OBAC region schools participate in programs established by the Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation and support the Farms to School Initiatives.

Download the Project Overview - Click Here (PDF 124Kb)

FINAL Report Submitted by WL Mcleod School PAC - Click Here


(COMPLETED) Beyond the Market - 2012 – 2014
October 2010 - Dec 2011
New Farm Development Initiative
October 2012 – March 2013

The Initiative sought to increase the number of successful new farm entrants in the BC Highway 16 region from Valemount to Terrace by building and enhancing training and mentoring opportunities and increasing access to farm land and capital for new farm entrants.

  • Recommendation 2: Attract new entrants to the industry and enable access to training and education for existing and new members of the sector
  • Recommendation 3: Strengthen the industry by increasing collaboration across the sector and by forging partnerships and communication links with First Nations, local communities, governments, health and education agencies.
  • Recommendation 4: Produce value-added and specialized products and develop provincial, national and international markets for these products.
  • Recommendation 5: Increase demand for locally and regionally produced foods.
Grass-Fed Beef Chain Initiative
October 2012 – March 2013

The initiative sought to strengthen and diversify the market opportunities for value-added beef through direct sales within the BC Highway 16 region. This goal was to be achieved by two main objectives: to develop new market for direct sales of beef and to equip to producers with skills and tools need to access and supply these new markets.

  • Recommendation 2: Attract new entrants to the industry and enable access to training and education for existing and new members of the sector
  • Recommendation 3: Strengthen the industry by increasing collaboration across the sector and by forging partnerships and communication links with First Nations, local communities, governments, health and education agencies.
  • Recommendation 4: Produce value-added and specialized products and develop provincial, national and international markets for these products.
  • Recommendation 5: Increase demand for locally and regionally produced foods.
FINAL Report Submitted by the Community Futures Fraser Fort George - Click Here

(COMPLETED) Emerging Markets for Interior B.C. Forages
January 2013 - January 2014

The purpose of the initiative was to complete an internal focused environmental scan with strategic recommendations and specific developmental opportunities that will enable Highway 16 producers to capitalize on emerging domestic and international markets.

  • Recommendation 3: Strengthen the industry by increasing collaboration across the sector and by foraging partnerships and communication links with First Nations, local communities, government, health, and education agencies.

Download the Project Overview - Click Here (PDF 98Kb)

FINAL Report Submitted by the BC Forage Council - Click Here


Northern Agriculture Research Initiative
Approved 2011 - 2015

In March 2010, the OBAC Agriculture Implementation Working Group was formed. The working group is made up of regional ranchers, farmers, educational institutes, the Province and other interest groups focused on developing and implementing high priority projects.

A Memorandum of Agreement between OBAC, UNBC and Community Futures Fraser Fort-George was signed in January 2011 with the purpose of supporting the establishment of an agriculture research and development body in northern BC.

The goal of the Northern Agriculture Research Initiative is to improve the capacity and profitability of the agriculture and agri-food sector of northern British Columbia. It seeks to do so by supporting agricultural research, development and training in northern BC.

Northern Agriculture Research Initiative 2011-2012 Request for Proposals

  • UNBC: Business Plan for a Regional Food Hub: A Plan to Build the Capacity of Our Local Food System. FINAL Report submitted by UNBC - Click Here
  • UNBC: Enhancing Northern Grain Production through Applied Research and Community Engagement. FINAL Report submitted by UNBC - Click Here
Northern Agriculture Research Initiative 2012-2013 Request for Proposals
  • UNBC: The Taste of Place: Food, Culture and Planning for Resiliency in Northern British Columbia. FINAL Report submitted by UNBC - Click Here
  • UNBC: The Place of Wild Food in British Columbia: A case study of Robson Valley. FINAL Report submitted by UNBC - Click Here
  • UNBC: Phase 2: Enhancing Northern Grain Production through Applied Research and Community Engagement. FINAL Report submitted by UNBC - Click Here
  • CNC: Heat to Energy. FINAL Report submitted by CNC - Click Here

2013-2014 Northern Agriculture Research Initiative Research Proposals

  • University of Northern BC: Agricultural Land Use Planning in Northern BC. FINAL Report submitted by UNBC - Click Here
  • University of Northern BC: Phase 3: Enhancing Northern Grain Production through Applied Research and Community Engagement. FINAL Report submitted by UNBC - Click Here

2014-2015 Northern Agriculture Research Initiative Research Proposals

  • University of Northern BC: Building Agricultural Resilience in the Bulkley Valley: Soil Health and Management
  • College of New Caledonia: Year Round Growing Project

Download the Project Overview Summary for NARI- Click Here (PDF 335Kb)


 In March 2010, the OBAC Agriculture Implementation Working Group was formed. The working group is made up of regional ranchers, farmers, educational institutes, the Province and other interest groups focused on developing and implementing high priority projects.

A Memorandum of Agreement between OBAC, UNBC and Community Futures Fraser Fort-George was signed in January 2011 with the purpose of supporting the establishment of an agriculture research and development body in northern BC. The objective of the research body is to promote
and conduct research that aims to improve the capacity and profitability of the agriculture and agri-food sector of northern British Columbia. The
envisioned research body will:
Conduct research following three main themes: forage, pasture, and local food. Through its research activities the research and development
body will support the long-term sustainability of on-farm operations and activities (agriculture) and off-farm operations and activities related to
agriculture and food (agri-food) in northern BC by helping to:

  • Connect the region's post-secondary institutions with the research needs of the sector;
  • Diversify and strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector;
  • Enhance the competitiveness and profitability, understand and improve the economics of food and feed production;
  • Form stronger partnerships;
  • Increase the capacity to train and recruit the required work force; and,
  • Increase public support for the sector and interest in high quality food produced in the region;
  • Encourage greater food security in the region;
  • Inform policy on food and feed production that is relevant to northern BC

Agriculture Regional Information Papers
June 2013 – December 2014

Identified two potential agriculture products that were relatively undeveloped and that could have application throughout the Omineca region.

Arctic Char
More traditional animal protein sources are more costly than fish and while they will still have a role, they have significant land space and input (feedstock) requirements that substantially exceed the requirements of a land based aqua culture project…An important part of the aqua culture scenario is to see the advancement of land crop based products that can be sourced as appropriate fish feed.

Arctic Char Regional Information Paper - Click Here

Hemp
Rural British Columbia benefits from a range of climates suitable for the cultivation of hemp crops. This, combined with relatively inexpensive rural land, creates an opportunity for hemp production becoming a growing and significant part of the greater agricultural enterprise in British Columbia.

Hemp Regional Information Paper - Click Here


Beyond the Market: Regional Agriculture Knowledge Network
April 2014 – April 2016

Building on the experiences gained under previous initiatives led by Beyond the Market, the Regional Agriculture Knowledge Network will endeavour to create a strong network in the central interior and northwest and is committed to the long-term sustainability and strengthened performance of the regional agriculture industry.

  • Recommendation 2: Attract new entrants to the industry and enable access to training and education for existing and new members of the sector
  • Recommendation 3: Strengthen the industry by increasing collaboration across the sector and by forging partnerships and communication links with First Nations, local communities, governments, health and education agencies.
  • Recommendation 4: Produce value-added and specialized products and develop provincial, national and international markets for these products.
  • Recommendation 5: Increase demand for locally and regionally produced foods.
Download the Project Overview - Click Here

BC Forage Council: Demonstrating Innovative Forage Production Practices to Increase Climate Change Adaptation
July 2014 - May 2017

This project would address a number of on-farm adaptations focused on producing high quality forage under variable climatic conditions.

  • Recommendation 1: Develop infrastructure that supports the agriculture sector and removes barriers to its further development and diversification.
  • Recommendation 4: Support value-added and specialized product development and the development of provincial, national, and international markets for these products.
    • Provide funding to support existing projects and undertake new pilot projects, crop trials, and other activities designed to increase the range of crops produced in the region;