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Dear members and organic supporters,

On Tuesday, the province released its 2022 Budget. I attended the budget lock-up in Victoria along with a few BCAC colleagues. The setup was very different from previous years, however it was still an incredible way to meet with executive staff from various ministries. Unfortunately, Ministry of Agriculture staff were not present, but I had an opportunity to meet with an AFF staff member the next day.

Some highlights: ongoing investments in pandemic recovery, increased funding for CleanBC, and a mention of an AgriTech Centre for Excellence (although no details were shared).

Learn more about the Budget here: bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2022/downloads.htm#

Unrelated to the Budget, I am looking forward to getting home, catching up on emails and attending the virtual conference on Sunday. If you haven’t yet registered, I hope you do. 

Finally, I’d like to thank Jordan Marr, board member, farmer, podcast producer and beer night MC extraordinaire for graciously hosting our first virtual beer night and bringing many laughs to homes across the province (and Rebecca’s aunt in Quebec!).


Eva-Lena Lang, Executive Director

The 2022 BC Organic Conference Starts This Weekend!

Online | February 27 & March 6 | 9 AM – 1 PM

Join us for an 11-episode podcast series, a soil health video series featuring three virtual field days, two online conference days and a virtual trade show. If you haven't got your tickets yet, now's the time! Get your tickets here.

Also, don't miss our online auction! There are tons of incredible items with new ones being added daily, and we're still accepting donations. We're 75% of the way to our $5,000 goal! Check it out at: 32auctions.com/bcorganic

 
Visit the BC Organic Conference page

2 Ways to Win a 2022 BC Organic Conference Mug


The podcast way:

Tell us why you love the Organic BC podcast and you could win one of our signature conference mugs, hand-crafted by the talented Emily Walmsley!

All you have to do is share your favourite Organic BC podcast episode on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, say why you love it, tag @thisisorganicbc, and you're entered to win! Each post will get you one entry into the draw, and you’ll get an extra entry if you tag a friend. The draw will be made live on Feb. 27th.

Check out past podcast episodes at organicbc.org/podcast, and get access to all-new episodes by registering for the 2022 BC Organic Conference.

The scavenger hunt way:

We'll soon be releasing details on our tradeshow scavenger hunt, which conference attendees can access in the Whova app. The draw for the mug will be made live on Mar. 6th. Stay tuned!

 

Did You Know That Organic BC Offers Group Health Benefits?


As an Organic BC member or operator, you're eligible for a Group Benefits Plan!

The plans include life insurance, dental care, and extended health care (vision, prescriptions, medical aids & equipment, professional services such as massage and physiotherapy, and more). And, they're available for both entrepreneurs and larger businessses!

 
Learn more

Soil Management Workshop Series


Join the UBC Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes lab for two online soil management sessions—let’s talk nutrient management and cover crops!

The UBC team will share regional field trial results and provide opportunities for you to share your experiences from the field with fellow growers in small-group breakout sessions.

 
Details and registration

Petition: Demand Mandatory Genetic Engineering (GMO) Safety Assessments


Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are proposing to exempt many new genetically engineered (genetically modified or GE) foods and seeds from regulation.

Without government oversight, there will be no regulation of what is allowed into our environment and our food system. Farmers will not be able to identify organic seeds from GE/GMO seeds, and contamination will increase in our environment and food supply, risking organic markets and making it very challenging for consumers to know what is in their food supply.

Take action by the end of February to prevent the proposal from moving ahead!

 
Sign the petition

FINAL REMINDER: Upcoming Groundwater License Deadline

Don't forget: The deadline to apply for a groundwater license is March 1st, 2022. That's less than a week away!

Young Agrarians has put together an excellent FAQ that outlines everything you need to know about the deadline, including this on-point summary:

Long story short: After March 1, 2022, everyone using groundwater for farming is legally required to have a water licence. If you have been using water prior to February 2016, you can submit an application for existing use by March 1. If you don’t, you must submit a NEW USE application, which will cost more money and potentially be harder to get. Take advantage of this opportunity to secure your water supply!

 
Read the FAQ

Support for Canada Organic Program

Though organic agriculture is sustainable and resilient, the Canadian organic sector is underfunded. We need our Canadian government to implement a program that will provide permanent funding for the review of the Canadian Organic Standards and for the societal and ecological services delivered by organic farming.

Learn more here and sign the petition to show your support for the creation of a Canada Organic Program!

 

2021 State of Organics Report

COTA just released the State of Organics: Federal-Provincial-Territorial Performance Report for 2021.

This comprehensive report combines a wide range of data, analyzes existing organic policy frameworks, and recommends key areas to help support the growth of organic in Canada.

Download your FREE copy NOW!

FCS Equity Framework

What unique barriers stand in the way of diversity and inclusion in agriculture?

Farmers For Climate Solutions takes a look at this important issue in their newly released Equity Framework.

Learn more and get inspired!

Reminder: BC On Farm Food Safety Funding Program is Open

The program provides up to $10,000 per farm for food safety improvements. You don't have to be going for Canada GAP to apply. If you're interested in applying, scroll down to the "How to apply" section and fill out Part A ASAP! If you do not get funded this year you are first in line for next year. Learn more.

AgriRecovery Program

The recently announced AgriRecovery program is offering $228 million in federal-provincial government support to BC farmers. The program will help their farms return to production and support British Columbia’s food security and agricultural communities in the years ahead.

Read the news release here, and learn more about the program here.

BC Agricultural Labour Survey

The BC Agricultural Labour Survey is being distributed to businesses and organizations within the agriculture and seafood industry to collect important information about their workforce and their experience with recruiting workers. BC agriculture, aquaculture and fishing operations will receive a postcard invitation to take this voluntary survey online. The survey should take around 20 minutes to answer. It will be open from mid-February to March 27, 2022.

Please take the time to answer this survey when you receive the invitation--your participation will help the ministry to support you better in the future.

Temporary Foreign Worker Updates

Effective February 28, 2022, Canada will be easing the on-arrival requirements for fully vaccinated travellers. Travellers will now be randomly selected for testing on arrival in Canada but will no longer be required to quarantine while waiting for their test results.

All fully vaccinated temporary foreign workers (TFWs) arriving after February 28th can travel directly to their final location and begin working immediately. TFWs who do not meet the requirements of being fully vaccinated will continue to be quarantined in the provincial quarantine facility in Richmond for 14 days.

Get more details from WALI.

Livestock Tag Reader Rebate Program

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries is pleased to announce that the Livestock Tag Reader rebate program is now accepting applications until 2023.

This program is for livestock operations who own, sell, feed, house, or care for cattle, hogs, sheep, bison, cervids, horses and/or goats in BC. This program provides cost-share funding for the implementation of livestock tag readers (hand-held or panel readers), reader installation, related software, and related equipment training. 
Seed Saving 101
March 10, 2022 | 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm | Kamloops

Join FarmFolk CityFolk to learn more about garden design, seed saving basics, and some hands-on seed cleaning fun. More details.

Pacific Agriculture Show

March 31 - April 2, 2022 | Tradex Exhibition Centre

A showcase of the latest and most innovative equipment and technology for the agriculture industry. More details.
View all events
          
          
Have some news to share? Get in touch with Stacey at: communications@organicbc.org
Photo credits: Moss Dance (conference logo), SK Basu, Farmers for Climate Solutions, Canada Organic Trade Association.
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